Franklin High School families concerned about coach, say football culture is 'unhealthy'

(Submitted by Stacy Wray)

A Franklin mom said her sons are being punished for speaking out about an 'unhealthy' culture on the Franklin High School football team.

Stacy Wray is proud mom to Franklin High School football players Max and Jake Wray. Her sons, a senior and a sophomore on the varsity team, had their season cut short.

Wray said she believes it's because she and her husband brought concerns to head coach Donnie Webb about his treatment of Jake when he returned to practice after a concussion.

"Kids have to be able to feel safe to self-report if they're still have headaches, if they're still not feeling well," Wray said. "If they feel like they're going to be punished from missing practice for recovering from a concussion, that could potentially hinder kids from self reporting. That's not safe."

Without self-reporting, some trainers say concussions can get worse.

"It can result in anything from brain damage or paralysis or anything permanent neurological," Professional Trainer Tiffany Estes said.

In an e-mail to Stacy Wray, Franklin High School Athletic Director Jay Johnson said Jake and Max Wray had been suspended from all football activities until a meeting can take place between the Wray parents, the head coach, athletic director and an administrator.

Wray said no resolution came from the meeting, and her sons did not play in Friday's final game of the season, which was senior night for Max.

Another Franklin parent also raised concerns about the environment established by the football coaching staff.

Fox 17 News reached out to Franklin High School Athletic Director Jay Johnson and Head Football Coach Donnie Webb but have not heard back from them.

A representative with the Williamson County School District said Franklin High Administrative Staff is reviewing the issue.

Stacy Wray said she sees a bigger issue involving more than just the well-being of her two sons.

"When the culture has intimidation and bullying and fear tactics and unfair punishment, public humiliation, that's just an unhealthy culture for anyone's kids," Wray said.

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