St. Francis High School soccer coach fired after clown mask photo
A St. Francis High School soccer coach who wore a clown mask for a photo at the team’s final practice is fighting to get his job back.
Ben Hildre, a volunteer coach for the junior varsity girl’s soccer team, received a letter from district Superintendent Troy Ferguson on Friday relieving him of his duties after a photo of Hildre wearing a clown mask on school grounds circulated on social media. Administrators say they had to act for the safety of students, several of whom had previously expressed anxiety about the national “creepy clown craze,” where people dressed in clown costumes are spotted walking residential neighborhoods at night, sometimes carrying weapons. Others have made online threats.
Hildre was mistaken as part of the phenomenon last week when an image from the team’s end-of-year practice celebration wound up on Twitter. He said he always dresses up for the last practice, part of an annual Halloween tradition.