The Camden Catholic High School president accused by a fired football coach of ordering more playing time for white players described the accusations as having "no basis in reality" in a letter to alumni Friday morning.
Mary Whipkey, the school president, said the fired coach, who was also a history teacher, "is peddling complete falsehoods to drive a wedge in this community to advance his own agenda."
Nick Strom said earlier this week that he was directed by Whipkey to give white players more time on the field in order to “connect with the school’s alumni.”
Strom’s attorney confirmed his client learned in a letter last Friday that he was being let go for violating campus dress code, confronting a fellow teacher in front of students and leaving class early to prepare for golf practice.
Terrance Ware, a father of two African American sons who are both juniors at Camden Catholic, told NBC10 his sons will not return to the school because he doesn't feel like its safe for them.
“With all the racism that’s been going on and everything that has transpired... for me, I can’t do that,” Ware said. “I have to be a father first."
The Diocese of Camden is currently investigating Strom’s accusations.
“The Diocese of Camden and the School’s Office take very seriously any and all allegations of racism,” a Diocese spokesperson wrote. “By their very nature as Catholic, our schools are expected to be welcoming and nurturing to all students.”
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In her letter to alumni, Whipkey touted the Cherry Hill school's racial and economic diversity in defending herself against Strom's claim.
"We are stronger than these baseless allegations — which are frankly inconsistent with the spirit and environment of Camden Catholic," Whipkey wrote. "We know each other too well and care for each other too deeply to let false and mean spirited words divide us."