Editor’s note: This story also appears in the Nov. 8 edition of Park Cities People.
A student manager with special needs was left behind after the Highland Park varsity football team’s Sept. 26 game in Forney. Forney head coach Kevin Rush found the teen and drove him back to the Park Cities.
The incident was first reported by InForney.com on Oct. 11. Park Cities People learned of it only because an anonymous tipster printed the InForney.com story and mailed it to the newspaper.
This week, Highland Park ISD spokeswoman Helen Williams said the student was left behind because he told an assistant coach, who was responsible for making sure that he was safely transported home, that he was going to ride with his parents.
“Although no harm was done,” Williams said, “this occurrence points out the need to enforce our requirement that any student who rides on the bus to an away game have a signed release form from his or her parents indicating that he or she has another ride home. We will reinforce this procedure with our athletic staff.”
Williams said Rush drove the student to Highland Park High School, where his parents picked him up. Attempts to reach the parents this week were not successful. Rush did not return phone messages by press time.
On Sept. 27, Highland Park head football coach Randy Allen sent an email praising Rush to Forney High’s principal, Forney ISD’s superintendent, and Forney ISD’s athletic director.
“Coach Rush got to know the young man and had a good conversation with him,” Allen wrote after explaining what happened. “Coach Rush wouldn’t take anything for using his own gas, vehicle, and time to do a kind act for our manager. This act of kindness by Coach Rush was way above the call of duty. I am indebted to him. He is a Coach of the Year in my book!”