Sayreville community reacts to Najjar firing
Reaction among the Sayreville community was mixed following the latest shoe to drop in the aftermath of the sexual hazing scandal that rocked the high school football program last season.
To some, news of George Najjar's termination as head coach was long overdue. To others, the move was ridiculous and will only tarnish the reputation of an upstanding man who served as the perfect role model for 20 seasons.
"He was like a father in the football family," said student Raahim Bahtti. "It was very shocking. He doesn't really deserve that."
Lisa Lakomski, the mother of a senior at Sayreville War Memorial, said Najjar should not have been removed from his position after all the good he's done for the community.
"I think it was the players' fault and that's it," she said.
Seven football players were charged in connection with alleged inappropriate hazing tactics, including sexual assault, over a 10-day period in September. The investigation resulted in an early end to the 2014 football season.
Soon after, Najjar was suspended with pay from his position as a physical education teacher.
Nancy Romanowski, picking up her niece from the high school Thursday, said Najjar's firing was inevitable.
"We all kind of knew it was going to get there," she said. "I'm just personally surprised it took this long."
An opening for the head coaching position was listed Thursday morning on the district's web site, a move the superintendent described as "the next important step toward the 2015 football season."