Indian River School Board President under investigation over remarks made during football game

GEORGETOWN, Del. – Indian River School Board President Rodney Layfield is under investigation by the district and Delaware State Police after he reportedly belittled the coaches of an opposing team at a football game at Sussex Central High School.

The incident occurred this past Saturday, Sep. 17 at a football game between Sussex Central High School and Hodgson Vocational Technical High School who was visiting from upstate in New Castle County.

Present at the game was Indian River School Board President Rodney Layfield and several sports officials from Hodgson, including assistant football coach Darrell Lockhart. Both were in the stands just above the press box when Lockhart and the other coaches started to cheer after their team made an impressive interception.

“We’re all just standing there looking at each other like, what’s going on, what is this guy talking about like what are you yelling at us for, for cheering, and he’s like if you wanna cheer go over there on your side,” Lockhart told our Rob Petree. “Everybody was kind of shocked because of just the nature and the tone of his voice and the way he was yelling.”

In a recording, Layfield can be heard telling Lockhart and the other coaches: “you ain’t from around these parts boy” and “this ain’t New Castle County boy, this ain’t New Castle County, show some respect!”

Lockhart tells us he and the other coaches were shocked by what happened and that there should’ve been nothing wrong with cheering for their team.

“I’m not beneath you, I’m equal to you, and that’s the type of respect I think I deserve,” Lockhart said reflecting on what transpired. “You don’t talk to people that way. When he said, ‘you’re not from around these parts boy’ it’s just like yo, I took it as a threat, ya know I’m a grown man, I’m nobody’s boy.”

47 ABC reached out to the Indian River School District who issued a statement saying they do not condone the remarks made by Layfield:

“The Indian River School District believes that all individuals in attendance at district sporting events should behave in a respectful manner consistent with the values we attempt to instill in our students,” the district wrote in a statement. “It is imperative that all attendees behave in an appropriate manner and treat one another with respect. As such, the manner in which an individual board member interacted with the visiting team’s coaches during the Sussex Central vs. Hodgson football game on September 17 is not condoned. The Indian River School District is committed to creating a positive culture and climate that values and respects all individuals.”

News Anchor & Reporter Rob Petree spoke to Layfield, who is also a Captain with Delaware State Police, who said he could not comment at this time as this is an active investigation and directed us to public affairs for Delaware State Police.

Delaware State Police issued our news department a statement Thursday afternoon saying they’re aware of the incident and that they are in fact investigating:

“The Delaware State Police are aware of the video involving Captain Layfield,” the statement read from state police. “We are actively looking into this incident. As this is a personnel matter, no further comment will be offered at this time.”

Categories: Delaware, Local News