PANOLA COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - He was caught on camera whipping high school basketball players with a weight belt. Now he's getting a second chance. Marlon Dorsey will join the South Panola school district this fall.
Two years ago, the former coach at a Jackson, Mississippi high school admitted to punishing his players by hitting them with a belt. South Panola's superintendent believes Dorsey's a good hire.
Dorsey resigned from Jackson Public Schools in May. Superintendent Keith Shaffer says he sees this as an opportunity to enhance the district's basketball program.
Parents aren't so sure.
"I've met the man," Shaffer says. "My high school principal's met him, so has the deputy superintendent. The man made a mistake."
The video of that mistake is an especially upsetting sight for parents, who are unsure if Dorsey should get a second chance.
Dorsey will teach and assistant coach at South Panola High School and Junior High.
"They shouldn't have hired him I don't think," says Gail Green.
"That's crazy if they know his background," says Jayme Jones. "I don't know why he would do that."
"We saw this as an opportunity," Shaffer tells abc24.com. He's heard criticism, but says he's also been applauded for the hire.
He thinks Dorsey will enhance the schools' sports. "I think he's learned from his lessons. I have no fear at all anything like that would happen in our district."
"If he only got caught once and he won't do it again, everybody deserves a second chance," says Danny Perkins.
Jones disagrees. "If he got caught doing that he should not be able to work with kids anymore," she says.
Corporal punishment is against school policy in Jackson, where Dorsey used to work. It's not in South Panola. Shaffer says that doesn't mean Dorsey will be allowed to do anything like what's seen in the video.
"It's administered only by administrators and has to be done outside of the presence of students. It also must be done witnessed by another adult and every parent has an opportunity to sign a waiver, saying I do not want corporal punishment for my student."
Dorsey starts in August. He'll teach social studies.