AMORY -- Bad behavior near the basketball court has a Northeast Mississippi high school in the news for the second week in a row.
Thursday's incident following Hamilton High School's girls basketball game at Amory has garnered national attention. Heather Thompson, 36, was charged with simple assault of a school official after allegedly punching Hamilton girls coach Sue Verner unconscious following the game.
"Coach Sue Verner is certainly a valued and respected member of the Hamilton school faculty, and her efforts in all that comes with serving as a coach and teacher are much appreciated," Monroe County superintendent Scott Cantrell said Friday evening in a prepared statement. "We were relieved that she was released from the hospital on Thursday evening and our hope for her is a full and speedy recovery."
Bond was set Friday at $20,000 for the felony charge against Thompson. Witnesses said Thompson was upset that Verner insisted a player ride the bus home, instead of with a parent. The news release said district employees will continue to cooperate fully with authorities.
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Verner reportedly has a fracture under her left eye and a gash above the other.
Six days earlier at Saltillo, a melee -- unrelated to the game -- broke out in the home stands. Players who were sitting in the stands got involved, resulting in several eight-game suspensions.
Cantrell said he had never seen anything like the situation in his eight years as Monroe superintendent. He has been in Verner's shoes, coaching football at Hamilton and Nettleton, but never faced a situation like Verner's on Thursday.
"Of course anytime you're coaching you're going to have upset people at times," Cantrell said, "but never anything to that extent."
The story has made its way around several national media outlets, including USA Today and ESPN, which referenced the Journal's original story.