Kindergarten Teacher Denied Tiger Story In ‘04

TMZ.com reports today that Tiger Woods’ kindergarten teacher will have a press conference Friday to “say once and for all whether Tiger’s tale is true.

Tiger Kindergarten story denied by teacher and principal

Tiger’s “tale” is a story Woods published in a 2005 Charles Barkley book about an incident that allegedly happened while he was attending Cerritos Elementary school in 1981:

I became aware of my racial identity on my first day of school, on my first day of kindergarten. A group of sixth graders tied me to a tree, spray-painted the word ‘nigger’ on me, and threw rocks at me. That was my first day of school. And the teacher really didn’t do much of anything.

Tiger’s kindergarten teacher, Maureen Decker, is quoted on the record in a 2004 book by Howard Sounes repeatedly denying that the incident took place. As is the principal of the school at the time, Donald Hill. Decker:

“It’s untrue. Absolutely untrue. None of it ever happened.

Below is an excerpt from pages 127-129 of the Sounes book, The Wicked Game: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and the Story of Modern Golf:

Tiger Woods Kindergarten Story Was a Lie

Not only is the story apparently not true, it was already well known in the media before Barkley’s book was published in 2005. Sounes notes that Woods talked about the story in a ‘97 interview with Barbara Walters.

Interesting how Decker’s repeated denials got no traction then, but they do now.