Jade Dickens: Toughest Middle-School Girls' Gym Coach Ever?

You thought your gym teachers were tough?

If the allegations in a federal-court lawsuit are true, Jade Dickens just might have yours beat.

A mother has sued Dickens and the Gatesville school district, saying Dickens forced her seventh-grade daughter to carry a 280-pound student the length of a football field because she refused to go out for the track team.

The suit, filed under a pseudonym, claims the girl suffered two herniated discs as a result. The suit seeks unspecified financial damages.

It says the girl could not play track because it conflicted with "religious activities in which [she] was more interested."

Dickens, the suit says, told girls who didn't try out for track their decision "indicated a lack of 'commitment' or plain laziness." They were targeted, the suit says, for "marine" drills.

That included the carrying exercise.

The girl "begged Coach Dickens not to require this," the suit says.

The girl only got 75 yards before collapsing, the suit says, and "Coach Dickens was screaming at [her] continuously during the drill, telling her to go faster."

She then had the girl get on her hands and knees and the larger girl mounted her shoulders. When she was told to get up with the girl on her back, the suit says, she heard a "pop" in her back.

Neither the district nor Dickens has yet responded to the suit.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly