BRAWLEY — Brawley Union High School accepted the resignation of varsity volleyball coach and social sciences teacher Philip Finnell Wednesday, November 13, at the board of trustees meeting, following his arrest for an alleged DUI August 23.

Finnell was arrested on BUHS campus August 23 in relation to a disturbance at the school and an alleged DUI traffic collision. Details were not provided on the alleged incident.

Finnell was put on administrative leave until the district decided the best course of action to be taken. Meanwhile, friends and coworkers fought to keep Finnell at his job, saying that it was one mistake in a lifetime of service to educating students.

Though Finnell, his family, and friends fought to keep his position at the high school, in the end, he stepped aside. On his Facebook page, Finnell quoted Chief Joseph, “I am tired of fighting.” 

Finnell has publicly apologized to the Brawley community as well as to his students. He said he accepts the consequences of that day. He expressed appreciation for the support that his friends, coworkers, and students have given him over the past few months since the incident.

“I feel as though I have a lot to offer whether at BUHS or any other school. I’ve got a great family supporting me, and I’ve felt that they’ve been with me and supported me through this journey. I have a great community that has supported me and understood that things happen. It’s not a definition of my character, it’s just a day in time,” said Finnell. “As we keep moving forward, I get stronger and stronger and I just hope that out of God’s grace, something good comes out of this.”

With his daughter alongside him, Finnell quietly walked off BUHS campus after the board meeting, hearing words of support from coworkers and students.

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