Coach focus of Schools' harassment investigation

DULUTH - Gwinnett County Public Schools is investigating a complaint that Duluth High School's former girls basketball coach allegedly made inappropriate comments that could be considered sexual harassment, school officials said Friday.

Shane Roughton was "relieved from his basketball coaching duties prior to the beginning of the season this year due to performance issues," GCPS spokeswoman Sloan Roach said in an e-mail.

The school system's Human Resources Division began an investigation into the alleged comments "soon after that change," and Roughton resigned on Oct. 10, during the investigation, Roach said.

Human Resources is finishing its report, which will be sent to the state Professional Standards Commission, the agency that certifies teachers, Roach said.

Roughton taught geography at Duluth, and GCPS is interviewing candidates to fill that position, Roach said. A substitute teacher has been leading his classes.

Roughton, a 1991 Duluth graduate, took over a struggling Wildcat girls program and suffered through a winless 2004-05 season, his first at the helm. But the team showed great progress last season, going 9-18 against a tough Region 7-AAAAA schedule.

Interim coaches Tim Hemans, Kelly Juhl and Leigh Ann Gaskins are preparing for the season, Roach said. Practice starts Oct. 30, and the first game set for Nov. 18.