Morehead Cross Country Coach Charged After Altercation with Student

Rockingham Coach Charged


EDEN. N.C.-- A coach in Rockingham County is facing a simple assault charge after an altercation with a student, according to Eden police. 

On Monday Morehead High School Resource Officer Bryan Thompson was called to the gym in reference to an incident between a student and the cross country coach. Thompson reported seeing several students, custodian and Coach William McLawhorn in the gym. Eden Police Spokesman, Lt. Clinton Simpson said a male student and McLawhorn were arguing by the time Thompson arrived.  After Thompson's investigation he determined the altercation was between Coach McLawhorn and the 16 year old student. 

Officers looked at security surveillance video, as well as, cell phone video and as a result arrested William Christian McLawhorn, of Martinsville, Va. for Simple Assault. Police did not clarify if the fight started because of a previous history between the coach and student, or if punches were thrown. Simpson said, "According to the video I saw, the coach did not take a defensive stance, but a mistake was made." 

The student, according to police, had one or two scratches on him after the incident. Simpson added, "It's a simple assault because there were no weapons, just hands and it would be the same charge if it were two students or two adults involved."

Jonathan Craig, Jr., Executive Director of Human Resources/Athletics said in an email, 

"Rockingham County Schools wants to provide a safe and enjoyable athletic experience for all of its student athletes.  This unfortunate incident, is an isolated incident that we take seriously.  Mr. McLawhorn was contracted to coach athletics, and after this incident, has been removed from his coaching responsibilities.  All staff and coaches, paid and volunteer, go through a thorough employee screening process."

McLawhorn was transported to the Wentworth Magistrates Office where he received a $1,000.00 unsecured bond and is scheduled to be in court Oct. 27th. 


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