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Published November 22, 2013, 12:35 PM

West Fargo High School, Coach Jim Jonas, release statement concerning his status

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - West Fargo High School and Coach Jim Jonas have released a statement concerning Jonas's status in relation to coaching at the school.

By: Helmut Schmidt, Forum News Service, INFORUM; WDAY Staff Reports , WDAY, Forum News Service

WEST FARGO – A West Fargo High School teacher recently ousted from assistant coaching positions in football and boys basketball could return to the sidelines, but it won’t be soon.

Jim Jonas, who had been asked to resign two weeks ago but hadn’t yet, apparently struck a deal Thursday in a meeting that included a number of district officials and coaches, as well as Jonas and his representatives, according to a statement from Jonas released Friday by district spokeswoman Heather Konschak.

The forced resignation of Jonas, and the lack of a public explanation for his removal as a coach, has led some students and parents in the district to push for his reinstatement. Many have indicated they plan to air their opposition to the move in a School Board meeting on Monday.

Here is the full text of the statement released Friday and attributed to Jonas, who is also a world history teacher at West Fargo High:

“As you know, I will not be coaching basketball and football for West Fargo High School in the coming seasons.

“I would like to thank everyone for the support and encouragement I have received during this difficult time. I want you to know that I met with a group of West Fargo educators, consisting of coaches, the athletic director, teachers and administrators, on Nov. 21, 2013, to discuss the situation surrounding my coaching positions of football and basketball.

“All members in attendance recognized the importance of unity in moving forward by developing a process to assure communication leading to successful experiences for our student athletes, coaches and parents.

“This group of educators, myself included, is making a commitment to dedicate their efforts to work collaboratively toward a process of continuous improvement in the West Fargo School District that will ensure this success.

“Open and honest communication will be the cornerstone of this effort. The welfare of students will be the utmost consideration.

“To promote a positive school and community climate, we ask that all members of the West Fargo Schools community commit with us in this endeavor.

“Although I will not be coaching basketball and football in the coming seasons, this meeting has given me hope that, with hard work and commitment, I can someday return to the sidelines or the bench.”

The call for his resignation didn't affect Jonas' positions as a teacher or as a track and filed coach.

The general transcript of Jonas's statement, released by West Fargo High School Community Relations Coordinator Heather Konschak, is included below:

As you know, I will not be coaching basketball and football for West Fargo High School in the coming seasons. I would like to thank everyone for the support and encouragement I have received during this difficult time. I want you to know that I met with a group of West Fargo educators, consisting of coaches, the athletic director, teachers and administrators, on November 21, 2013, to discuss the situation surrounding my coaching positions of football and basketball. All members in attendance recognized the importance of unity in moving forward by developing a process to assure communication leading to successful experiences for our student athletes, coaches and parents.

This group of educators, myself included, is making a commitment to dedicate their efforts to work collaboratively toward a process of continuous improvement in the West Fargo School District that will ensure this success. Open and honest communication will be the cornerstone of this effort. The welfare of students will be the utmost consideration. To promote a positive school and community climate, we ask that all members of the West Fargo Schools community commit with us in this endeavor.

Although I will not be coaching basketball and football in the coming seasons, this meeting has given me hope that, with hard work and commitment, I can someday return to the sidelines or the bench.

WDAY will have further details at 5, 6 and 10.

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