Peterman is white. In 2015-16, 80.4 percent of DeSoto’s 2,440 students identified as African-American, according to a report from the Texas Education Agency.
Former board member Vandous Stripling said six of the board’s seven members originally voted to hire Peterman. Stripling, who served from 2010 to 2016 and is running for an open vacancy, said the statement regarding the race issue doesn’t fit the community.
“To make this that it’s a race thing, if it would have been a race thing, we’d have never hired him,” Stripling said.
Roughly 30 to 40 football players were at the meeting in support of their head coach, according to senior Xavier Newman.
Newman, a Baylor signee, said he found out about the potential change shortly before the meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
“He’s just been a good role model toward me and the rest of my teammates and stuff,” Newman said. “Just hearing they were going to fire him and they didn’t have a logical reason to fire him, it wasn’t right.”
Prior to the executive session, a woman shouted “Renew coach Peterman,” a statement that received large applause from the packed board room.
The room quickly reached its capacity of 150 people. Police officers were letting the roughly 25 people outside the door in one at a time as a few started to leave.