Pender County Board of Education launches investigation into Topsail High wrestling program

PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – The Pender County Board of Education has directed the hiring of an independent investigator to “inquire into the facts and circumstances surrounding the Topsail High School Wrestling program,” the school system announced Tuesday.

“This investigative effort is being undertaken in response to significant concerns brought to the Board’s attention by both school system staff and a significant portion of the THS community,” Pender County Schools stated in a news release. “By hiring an independent investigator, the Board’s goal is to allocate all resources necessary to ensure it is making the best decisions for the students of THS.

“Further, the Board intends to make any and all relevant portions of the investigator’s final report public in an effort to preserve the THS community’s faith and confidence in the Board’s ability to adequately exercise its oversight responsibilities concerning staff and interscholastic athletic programs.”

The news release doesn’t detail what sparked the investigation.

Officials say the school board has set a tentative deadline of late April for the final report.

“The Board sincerely appreciates all feedback and comments received by staff, students, and parents,” the news release states.

Earlier this month, WECT reached out to Pender County Schools after receiving word from several parents that the team’s coach had been removed from his role.

Dr. Brad Breedlove, Superintendent Pender County Schools, released the following statement at that time:

“Pender County Schools is aware of the concerns surrounding the wrestling coach at Topsail High School, and we understand the significance of this issue within our community.

While we cannot discuss specific personnel matters publicly, we want to assure you that personnel decisions are made with careful consideration and in accordance with established procedures and policy.

We understand and recognize the dedication of the parents and community members who support the wrestling program at Topsail High School.”