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‘He Turned Our Program Around’: Students Protest Hockey Coach’s Firing

August 19, 2019


MILTON POLICE SAY ONE OF THEM SUFFERED POTENTIALLY SERIOUS INJURIES. NO WORD WHAT CAUSED THAT CRASH. NOW AT 5:00 STUDENTS IN ANDOVER WALKED OUT OF CLASS TODAY OVER THE DECISION NOT TO RENEW A POPULAR HOCKEY COACH’S CONTRACT. THAT COACH, CHRIS KUTCHER, IS WIDELY CREDITED WITH TURNING AROUND THE PROGRAM AND HIS SUPPORTERS SAY THEY WERE STUNNED HE WASN’T RENEWED. SO TODAY HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS WALKED OUT OF SCHOOL DEMANDING AN EXPLANATION. WBZ’S PAUL BURTON IS LIVE IN ANDOVER TONIGHT WITH MORE ON THE STORY. PAUL. Reporter: DAVID, THEY CAME OUT IN DROVES, STUDENTS CHANTING RESPECT OUR COACHES. THIS WAS A PEACEFUL YET ENERGETIC PROTEST ON BEHALF OF THEIR FORMER HOCKEY COACH WHO LOST HIS JOB. THEY CAME OUT BY THE HUNDREDS. ANDOVER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS RAISING THEIR VOICES AND HOLDING UP SIGNS, CHANTING AND PROTESTING LOUD BY ABOUT THE UNFAIR TREATMENT OF THEIR FORMER HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY COACH CHRIS KUTCHER. MORE THAN 200 STUDENTS WALKED OUT OF THEIR CLASSROOMS AND ONTO THE FIELD TUESDAY MORNING, UPSET OVER THE SCHOOL’S DECISION TO GET RID OF HIM AND HIS ASSISTANTS. KUTCHER’S CONTRACT WAS NOT RENEWED FOR NEXT SEASON DESPITE THE FACT MANY STUDENTS AND PARENTS CREDIT HIM WITH TURNING THE BOYS’ HOCKEY PROGRAM AROUND IN RECENT YEARS. SOME OF THE ADMINISTRATION DIDN’T LIKE HIM. HE TURNED OUR PROGRAM INTO A SUPER EIGHT — THEY KEEP FIRING COACHES, THEY KEEP LETTING THEM GO FOR NO REASON. THEY STILL HAVEN’T EVEN GIVEN US A REASON WHY. WE HAD TO FIND OUT THAT OUR COACH WAS NOT COMING BACK OVER TWITTER. Reporter: BACK IN 2018 KUTCHER AND TWO ASSISTANT COACHES WERE CLEARED OF ANY WRONGDOING BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, FOLLOWING ALLEGATIONS THAT HE MISTREATED PLAYERS AND DEPRIVED THEM OF FOOD AND WATER AS PUNISHMENT FOR POOR PERFORMANCES. IN A FACEBOOK POST AFTER THE PROTEST, KUTCHER WROTE HUMBLED, GRATEFUL, IN AWE. THE MAN WHO I AM TODAY. I WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT HIM. Reporter: TODAY THE SCHOOL ISSUED A STATEMENT SAYING STUDENTS WERE OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING FOR APPROXIMATELY 45 MINUTES AND SAFELY REENTERED THE SCHOOL. APS AND AHS RESPECT STUDENTS’ RIGHT TO VOICE THEIR CONCERNS. NOW COMING UP TONIGHT, SOME OF THE MEMBERS OF THE HOCKEY TEAM TELLS WBZ THAT TOMORROW MORNING THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE A MEETING AT 7:00 A.M. WITH SCHOOL OFFICIALS TO

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