Columbia swim coach says Nazi comments led to her firing

1 year 7 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, February 02 2016 Feb 2, 2016 Tuesday, February 02, 2016 2:20:00 PM CST February 02, 2016 in News
By: Matt Johnson, KOMU 8 Content Manager

COLUMBIA - Ousted Columbia Public Schools swim coach Laura Wacker told KOMU 8 News Tuesday she felt she was unfairly fired over comments she admitted she made about Nazis while talking to her girls swim team Friday. Columbia Public Schools confirmed the district fired Wacker Friday, but would not say why.

Wacker said the district human resources office told her the firing came after some girls claimed they were called Nazis in practice. Wacker denied she called girls Nazis, but did say she used an analogy about Jews in Nazi concentration camps in reference to some of the girls on the team being punished twice by the Missouri State High School Activities Assocation for violating "dead week" rules and by some girls on the team berating the girls who violated the rule.

Wacker said she told the girls it was "Like the Jews being tortured after already being put in concentration camps for not following bad rules." 

MSHSAA rules prevent girls from practicing with any team the week prior to their high school team's season starting. The girls were punished for that violation by sitting out six meets during the season. Thursday, Wacker said she was informed that in addition to that punishment, the girls would have to sit out the week beginning Monday, Feb. 1 as well since MSHAA said they did not sit out as required prior to the season.

Wacker said CPS investigated the comments by interviewing five girls, but never talked to her. CPS does not comment on personnel matters.

Wacker has been coaching the boys and girls swim teams for Hickman, Rock Bridge and Battle High Schools since the 2013-14 season and coached the girls as an assistant for an additional year in 2012-13 prior to taking on both boys and girls teams. Prior to being employed with CPS, Wacker coached Stephens College swimming for 16 years and has also coached for the Columbia Swim Club.

Wacker said she was receiving advisement about trying to get her job back.

[Editor's note: This story has been edited to add additional context about the analogy Wacker used.]

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – Food truck owners have contacted the Downtown Community Improvement District to increase parking options for restaurants on wheels.... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:11:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Agriculture and Taiwan have renewed a decades-long trade partnership and agreed to a... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Como for Progress held a rally Monday outside the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office to support her... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:04:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - This week is National Banned Book Week and Jefferson City’s Missouri River Regional Library is participating in... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 5:49:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill sent a letter to Envision Healthcare requesting more information on the company's emergency health care... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 5:10:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
HALLSVILLE - A car was destroyed after it burned down along Route B Monday afternoon. The car fire happened... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 4:09:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwest Missouri couple pleaded not guilty in the death of the woman's biological daughter, who was... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 3:46:35 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The hosts of the Black Women's March and Marketplace are currently arranging transportation to and from St. Louis... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:57:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A district court this weekend ordered a smoking ban for all Missouri corrections facilities, which was the... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:54:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
HOUSTON, Mo. (AP) — A fourth person has been charged in the death of a teenager whose burned body was... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:29:07 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The attorney general's office will investigate possible wrongdoing in connection to a civil rights lawsuit over the... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:23:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A family in western Missouri has received medals for a Korean War veteran 65 years after... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 1:00:54 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Jess Soehlke is like many college students: involved on campus, surrounded by friends, active in Greek life. ... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 11:31:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The amnesty period began Monday and runs through Friday, Sept. 29. It allows people who did not appear... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 11:06:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For many, fall brings thoughts of pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving and decorating, but with temperatures as high as... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:25:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in Top Stories
CAMDENTON (AP) — Authorities say kayakers have found a drowning victim in the Lake of the Ozarks. The... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 6:54:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Missouri prisons have been ordered to eliminate smoking after an asthmatic inmate serving a life sentence... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 24 2017 Sep 24, 2017 Sunday, September 24, 2017 8:13:00 PM CDT September 24, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS — Seven people are facing rioting and resisting arrest charges for their role in a protest that turned... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 24 2017 Sep 24, 2017 Sunday, September 24, 2017 8:05:41 PM CDT September 24, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
10pm 75°
11pm 73°
12am 73°
1am 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:01p
The Brave
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
The Brave
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld