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Silver Beach fight leads to South Bend wrestling coach’s resignation

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The fallout from Monday’s fight on Silver Beach continues with an unsuspecting twist – a father of two girls involved is leaving his longtime coaching position in South Bend and considering taking legal action against the school corporation.

Two of the girls in the middle of this Memorial Day fight on St. Joe’s popular beach are Tony McWilliams’ daughters.

He said they were targeted by a group of South Bend girls that have been bullying his oldest daughter, a student at Washington High School in South Bend, for months.

“A girl approached her and said, ‘Do you want to fight?’ To my daughter,” McWilliams said in an interview on Wednesday. “And my daughter was like, ‘No, I don’t want to fight. I didn’t come here for this.’ And one of the girls said, ‘On three, we’re jumping you.’ And that’s when it all just took place.”

The beachside brawl only ended once police pulled out pepper spray.

But the drama didn’t stop there.

McWilliams took to Facebook on Tuesday night and explained he was resigning from his job as varsity wrestling coach at Washington High School because he felt the South Bend Community School Corporation has not been responding fairly to his complaints of bullying.

“Not just the girls are responsible for their actions,” McWilliams said. “I feel like the school and the corporation’s responsible for their actions as well. And I think they’re guilty as much as everybody else.”

McWilliams said his two daughters were with their mom at the beach when the fight broke out.

He said he couldn’t sleep Monday night after seeing the video.

The father of two coached wrestling at Lasalle Academy for seven years before his eight-season run at Washington.

He said he’s resigning so he can consider taking legal action against the school district he knows so well, without having any conflicts of interest.

McWilliams said he's not interested in getting money if he pursues a case, but he instead wants to see policy changes within the school corporation that will help stop bullying.

“I thought they would back me up more – me being a part of the school system as long as I am,” McWilliams said. “And they didn’t. So I have to walk away.”

He filed a police report with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday.

Sheriff Paul Bailey told ABC57’s Taylor Popielarz that the prosecutor will determine if assault charges are necessary.

A spokesman for the South Bend Community School Corporation said, as of Wednesday afternoon, McWilliams had not submitted a formal letter of resignation.

McWilliams said he had phoned the athletic director about it on Tuesday night.

So far, according to the spokesman, no students involved in the fight have been suspended.

The spokesman declined to comment on anything else relating to this topic.

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