SPOKANE, Wash. - Amid allegations of misconduct, Ferris High School coach will no longer lead the Saxons football team.
Sources tell KXLY4 News players were informed of the decision Tuesday.
The Spokane School District confirmed the change to kxly. Sharkey is still employed as a teacher at Ferris, but remains on administrative leave.
Sharkey has been on leave since February, but school district records show the initial complaints about his behavior were made last fall.
Sharkey received a written warning for activities related to an off-campus camp players attended in North Idaho.
Among the allegations was a claim that Sharkey exposed himself to players in a joking fashion during a barbecue. According to school records obtained by kxly, the district was unable to substantiate that claim. Sharkey called that allegation "a big lie" that was "absolutely false." He also said he believed some Ferris parents could be trying to get him fired.
In that case, the district did find that Sharkey "compromised the safety of students by failing to supervise them appropriately and failing to sufficiently provide for their safety" at that camp. The district says Sharkey erred by failing to supervise them at all times during the extracurricular event and by not preventing adults who may have been drinking there from having unsupervised access to the students.
That written warning was issued September 13th.
More allegations came to light in late January. Among them, a teacher said they found some of Sharkey's behavior strange. He talked about Sharkey using profanity and belitting language towards students.
One student claimed, "He has created an environment in our leadership classroom where the girls of the class are expected to do all the work and his football players get to walk around and do absolutely nothing. Because of how he treats me and the other girls in class, it also sets the example for the boys that it is okay to talk down to us and give us their responsibilities when they don't have time. It is an unstable environment with no true leadership."
That student also said Sharkey referred to one of the girls in his class as a "puck slut" because of her friendships with Spokane Chiefs hockey players.
Another staff member told the district that they had witnessed "Jim calling out the phrase 'quit acting like a bunch of handicaps' when some boys were goofing around." The staff member said that was not acceptable and said he responded, "What, I can say that, I have a special education degree."
KXLY has reached out to Sharkey's attorney for comment, but have not yet heard back.
The district said the football coaching position has been posted internally and will be posted externally later this week.
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