Football coach at Oviedo High School did not properly supervise locker room, report states

A report by the Seminole County School District reveals new details on an incident that allegedly occurred at an Oviedo High School locker room in October.

An investigation began after a parent received an anonymous letter indicating that his child had been violated by football players performing a “code red," according to the report just released by the district. That parent contacted the school administration at Ovideo High School and the Seminole County Child Protective Services.

Oviedo Police said that a student felt that he was touched inappropriately while roughhousing was going on in the freshman/junior varsity locker room. It went "a little too far," according to investigators, and three students received school discipline in accordance with the student code of conduct for their actions.

The report recently released by Seminole County Public Schools states that there are two allegations involved in this incident:

  • During the 2019-20 school year, while unsupervised in the freshman/junior varsity locker room, football players performed code reds on unwilling players.
  • Oviedo High School has a history of players performing code reds on unwilling players while in the freshman/junior varsity locker room.

According to the report, two students told administrators that code reds were performed on them.  A code red, per the report, is when a player screams 'code red' and takes another player by surprise, subduing him. A fingertip is shoved through clothing into the student’s anus.  One student chose not to report the name of his perpetrator.  

The report notes that none of the students interviewed believed that the code reds had been done with sexual intent.  Some students described code red as a slap on the rear end, others described it as genitals being grabbed.  However, the report also shows code red allegations were made in the fall of 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Based on the school investigation, where over 70 students were interviewed, three students received disciplinary action and 'No Contact' contracts were put into place between the students involved, per the report.  

The report also said that the majority of the students interviewed indicated that there was little to no locker room supervision from Head Coach Matthew Dixon and his staff this school year in the freshman/junior varsity locker room. Student-athletes described lots of horseplay going on in the locker room, a few being uncomfortable with him.  Due to this, the report said that a few students chose to dress in the bathroom and avoid the locker room altogether.

When questioned regarding his duty to supervise the players, Coach Dixon stated that last school year, Oviedo Police informed him that he should not stand in the locker room to supervise, as a student could attempt to charge him as a voyeur or allege there was a sexual connotation to the observation. However, he could not recall who the officer was that told him that.  Dixon told those doing the investigation that he would supervise from the hallway outside the locker room and would not go inside. 

Through their investigation, Seminole County Public Schools found inadequate supervision of students while under Coach Dixon’s direction, football staff violated the principals of professional conduct for the education profession in Florida, the occurrence of code red activity, and a continuance of previously addressed related behavior. 

The report also notes that the Oviedo Police Department did its own investigation and that their findings were handed over to the State Attorney’s Office on November 14.  Prosecutors have not yet decided if they will move forward with charges.