WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Winfield High Set To Graduate, Following Controversy Over Canceled Speech

Reported: Jun. 5, 2014 5:26 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 5, 2014 10:21 PM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- After four long years of high school, more than 200 seniors graduated from Winfield High School Thursday night.

A class with their own accomplishments, and now the first class in years to not hear from long time teacher Coach Leon McCoy.

"It's not exactly good that they're cutting him out of the ceremony since he's been a big part of Winfield," graduate Michael Vande Linde said.

For years McCoy has been speaking at Winfield High School's graduation. But this year the Board of Education said they received complaints that said McCoy's speeches contain too many religious references.

So the high school principal said McCoy won't speak this year.

"He's a staple of our community. He taught my parents, he taught me, he taught my children. He's a good and Godly man," parent Laura McCullough said.

And while a tradition of Winfield graduations has come to an end, parents, like McCullough, said it's the life lessons McCoy taught the graduates that they'll keep forever.

"I think it shows the students that they should stand up for their beliefs. And just celebrate life."

And some of the graduates did just that.

Several speakers referenced to God in their speeches, which received standing ovations. Another entitled her graduation speech "If Coach McCoy Could Speak".

"I love you. You're a good guy. You're a great gym coach," graduate Martita Passero said. "And even through you're not there, you'll be here with us."

Many parents said they were upset about the principals decision, but the night was about the graduates.

And with that said we want to congratulated Winfield's graduating class of 2014.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- A tradition for Winfield High School graduation has come to an end, and not without controversy.

This year's class is graduating Thursday night, but many in the group are not thrilled about a move by the Putnam County School Board.

The 2014 class will walk across the stage at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium, but one thing is missing.

For years, coach Leon McCoy has been speaking at Winfield High School's graduation, but, this year, the Putnam school board says they have received complaints saying McCoy's speeches contain too many religious references, violating the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The board said McCoy won't be speaking this year, a decision that upset many students.

Those students started a petition to try to get the coach back on the agenda for graduation.

Eyewitness News has learned that McCoy will be at the event, but do not believe he will be speaking.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Dispatchers Say Man Stabbed Several Times In Huntington
News
Aug. 27, 2014 9:19 PM EDT
Police are on the scene of a stabbing in Huntington.

The ...
Full News Story

HP Recalls More Than 5 Million Power Cords
News
Aug. 27, 2014 7:20 PM EDT
Hewlett-Packard Company is recalling about 5.6 million ...
Full News Story

Riverside High Cook Maintains Innocence Amidst Theft Allegations
News
Aug. 27, 2014 6:41 PM EDT
State police say they have busted a theft ring at Riverside ...
Full News Story and Video


News Senate, House Leaders Try To Delay Tank Bill Deadline
Aug. 27, 2014 6:58 PM EDT
News Police Say They Believe They Have A Suspect In Connection To Bus Bomb Threat; No Arrests Made
Aug. 27, 2014 6:27 PM EDT
News Cold Spot's Owner Reaches Out For Help In Wake Of Devastating Fire
Aug. 27, 2014 6:22 PM EDT
News Settlement Made With DuPont Over Toxic Releases
Aug. 27, 2014 6:55 PM EDT
News OktoberWest To Feature National Talent
Aug. 27, 2014 7:27 PM EDT
News Charleston Police Say Captured Suspects Were Trying To Start New Lives
Aug. 27, 2014 6:42 PM EDT
News Browns Wide Receiver Gordon Suspended For 2014 Season
Aug. 27, 2014 4:11 PM EDT
News Charges Filed After Man In Wheelchair Begging Along Highway Fatally Shot
Aug. 27, 2014 2:28 PM EDT
News Army Identifies Soldier Who Shot Self At Virginia Base
Aug. 27, 2014 1:30 PM EDT
News Burger King Hears From Customers About Possible Move To Canada
Aug. 27, 2014 1:26 PM EDT
News Ex-Mail Carrier Sentenced In Drug Case
Aug. 27, 2014 1:20 PM EDT
News MU Opens New Learning Center
Aug. 27, 2014 12:58 PM EDT
News Grant Money Helps Arts Throughout Mountain State
Aug. 27, 2014 12:39 PM EDT
News Police Say Woman Faces Domestic Battery Charge After Hitting Her 2-Year-Old
Aug. 27, 2014 12:02 PM EDT
News Trial Date For Kanawha County Prosecutor Uncertain
Aug. 27, 2014 6:40 PM EDT
News Pre-Paid Cards Being Used To Get Money From Victims
Aug. 27, 2014 12:34 PM EDT
News Military Says Jet That Crashed In Virginia Based In Massachusetts: Status Of Pilot Unknown
Aug. 27, 2014 6:21 PM EDT
News Police Say Suspect Wanted In Murder Could Be In Multiple Cities Throughout WV
Aug. 27, 2014 12:38 PM EDT
News Several Employees Arrested After Alleged Riverside High Thefts
Aug. 27, 2014 12:43 PM EDT
News Interstate 64 Reopens Following Accident
Aug. 27, 2014 9:25 AM EDT
News Wayne Road Repairs Affects Bus Routes
Aug. 26, 2014 11:13 PM EDT
News Final Two Suspects Sought In Foodland Robbery Arrested
Aug. 27, 2014 12:37 PM EDT
News National Health Groups Demanding Regulations On Booming E-Cig Industry
Aug. 26, 2014 10:03 PM EDT
News After Several Acts of Crime, Neighbors Hoping For Normalcy
Aug. 26, 2014 9:48 PM EDT
News New Upscale Housing Subdivision to Relieve Housing Stress in Hurricane
Aug. 26, 2014 10:02 PM EDT
News Charleston Mayor Calls For Second Review Of Gardner Case
Aug. 26, 2014 9:32 PM EDT
News School Bus Accident Reminds Drivers Of Dangerous Stretch On Route 35
Aug. 26, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Former Logan County Teacher Arrested On Drug-Related Charges
Aug. 26, 2014 6:41 PM EDT
News Nine Kids Taken To Hospital After School Bus Wreck In Mason County
Aug. 26, 2014 5:45 PM EDT
News State Republicans Plan To Sue To Put Replacement Candidate On The Ballot
Aug. 26, 2014 5:43 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
House, Senate leaders urge delay in W.Va. tank law

State House and Senate leaders are urging the governor to call a special session to delay part of an aboveground storage tank law.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Kentucky gets $20 million grant for energy study

Democrats and Republicans gathered Wednesday to celebrate a $20 million federal grant designed to move Kentucky to new forms of energy, a tricky subject in a state dominated by the coal industry.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio man sentenced to up to 135 years for 7 rapes

A northeast Ohio man who pleaded guilty to raping seven women between 1993 and 2002 has been sentenced to up to 135 years in prison.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.