When Corbett Middle School football coach Randy Burbach asked his team where they wanted to have their end-of-season awards party, a majority of the players responded with the most unsurprisingly pubescent restaurant choice: Hooters.
Perhaps also not surprisingly, Burbach wanted to take the team there. When his plans were met with resistance, Burbach told his boss he would rather risk his job than change the party’s venue.
"Some might say that this restaurant objectifies women," he wrote. "I think [the venue] sends the wrong message to our young men and that saddens and worries me the most."
Before being fired, Burbach told local TV station KGW he wasn’t going to move the event because he wanted to teach his players to stand up for their beliefs.
"Not allowing myself to be bullied by a vocal minority is the war I want to win," he said.
Soulagnet disputes that characterization of events, saying Burbach was "unyielding" in his desire to hold the party at Hooters and was not open to any compromise.
"I asked him to change it because I want the kids to enjoy their season," Soulagnet said Tuesday. "If there are one or two kids (who are) not going to come because they’re not comfortable or their parents are not comfortable, then we need to change it."
According to the letter sent to parents, school district policy does not allow school events to be held at Hooters for "teams, groups, or clubs across the board and at at all levels including high school."
Three or four families objected to the Hooter’s plan, and Souagnet understood why.
"Hooters is known worldwide for a number of things," he said, "and I don’t think food is one of them."