A high school volleyball coach was fired this week after organizing an outdoor practice on hot pavement that caused several players on the team to suffer severe burns.
Oak Hills High School junior varsity coach Mercedes Winchester, 25, released a statement saying she did not mean for the girls on the volleyball team to get hurt, according to CBS Los Angeles.
“My goal wasn’t to physically strengthen them, but mentally strengthen them,” Winchester said in the statement. “I’m sorry that anyone got hurt… It’s protocol to go outside. It was not intentional or punishment. I didn’t mean to hurt my girls at all. None of the girls said anything.”
Parent Irene Castro Ortiz told CBS her daughter and some of her teammates came home the day after volleyball practice with second-degree burns on their hands.
“There is no excuse for that,” Ortiz said. “To inflict this type of injury defeats the purpose of fitness as a whole. If she doesn’t have the common sense to stop what she’s doing when she hurts somebody, then she doesn’t need to be around children.”
Ortiz reportedly complained to the district after the incident, who then fired Winchester. According to CBS, the coach is not likely to face criminal charges.