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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2005
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Sparkman athlete remains unhappy with haircut

HARVEST (AP) — A Sparkman High School baseball player whose head was shaved by a coach in front of the team is emotionally distressed, even though the coach has apologized to the family, the youth's grandmother said.

Rose Barkley said the Dec. 5 head shaving at Sparkman's baseball field left her 16-year-old grandson suffering from embarrassment and razor burns.

The entire team watched as assistant baseball coach Chris Telaga shaved the boy's curly, collar-length hair with clippers against his will, Barkley said.

"It's been very upsetting for the family," said Barkley. "We're big supporters of education, but we do not condone this."

Telaga, who has coached at Sparkman since 2000, is being disciplined but will not be fired or suspended, Madison County Schools Superintendent Ray Swaim has said.

Telaga did not immediately return a phone message at his home Friday.

Barkley said Telaga threatened to shave her grandson's head a few days before the incident unless he got a haircut. The teen had it trimmed that afternoon, she said.

But apparently it was not short enough to suit the coach. The following Monday, Telaga told the teen that if he wanted to continue to play baseball for Sparkman, he would have to get his head shaved, Barkley said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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