Letter: Hypocritical policy
October 10, 2001
I was not surprise to read the other day that several girls’ varsity soccer players were suspended from all athletics for the next six weeks for consuming alcohol. The concept that this punishment is an effective deterrent against this sort of activity has just been proven false. These rules have been in effect for several years and the student athletes were well aware of the consequences of their actions, if they were caught, and they still chose to drink.
The School Board, school administrators, the NIAA and those associated, who have self proclaimed themselves the moral authority for all students, need to rethink their positions and gain some vision into the real cause of this problem.
In my view, those associated with DHS have for too long said, “Do what I say, not what I do.” All of us who have, or have had children, at DHS can relate stories of hypocrisy by teachers, coaches and administrators. We, as parents and our children as students, are expected to respect and tolerate mediocrity, incompetence and sometimes outright stupidity by teachers, especially those with tenure, coaches, administrators, game officials, the School Board, the district offices and the NIAA. If we speak out against these people, we are labeled, ridiculed, threatened, and our children are blackballed by teachers, some coaches and the NIAA. How can we expect our children to obey the rules we set for them when they see that the adults they interact with within our schools have no compunction about bending or totally disregarding their own rules?
To say that the athletic contract is unfair and hypocritical is mild. To summarize, the contract basically states: No matter where you are, no matter who you’re with, no matter what you’re doing, you will be perfect, and if you make one mistake, you’re toast. The penalties for violating the rules are draconian and, to a senior, devastating. Members of other school-sponsored organizations are not required to agree to anything close to the student athlete contract. And students not involved in athletics or other on-campus organizations can engage in the same misconduct off campus that the athletes get hammered for with no repercussions.
You may ask why the student athletes are singled out for persecution. The answer is political correctness, jealousy and money. The politically correct School Board members and DHS administrators will say they want to curb such self-destructive behavior as smoking, drinking and the use of drugs. I couldn’t agree more. However, violations of driving laws can also be self-destructive and injurious to others, but there is no mention of this in the contract because it is not a politically correct subject.
As for jealousy, many athletes have achieved glory and adulation for various feats in competition that many of those adults, who wish to control them, can only dream of. Athletes are seen as arrogant, self-motivated and self-confident. Self-confidence is an all-important attribute for top competitors and needs to be nourished. However, as many of us know, it is the goal of the NEA to bring all students down to the lowest common denominator, thus squelching motivation and confidence.
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Last, and probably more important to DHS administrators and the School Board, is money. The teachers’ union continues to scream for higher pay, however refuses to have its members held culpable for producing a woefully undereducated product. School Board members, such as Mr. Keegan, continue to vote for tougher sanctions against student athletes in an attempt to squelch school athletics. No school athletics, more money to spend on pet projects. It should be noted that the athletics budget has been reduced so much that teams are forced to raise money year-round for such things as uniforms, equipment and preseason tournaments.
I am willing to bet that there is not one person associated with the Douglas school district or the NIAA that as an adult has not made a mistake they wish they could rectify. I know I have made many. Mr. Morgan, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Condron, Mr. Soderman, Mr. Keegan, Mr. Hughes, why not tell the world how perfect you were as teen-agers and are now as adults? All of you reading this, how perfect were you when you were a teen-ager? How perfect are you now?
These student athletes are kids, not adults, and kids make many mistakes, that’s why they need strong parents who are willing to teach them right from wrong and strong leadership in their schools. These student athletes do not need to be squashed like a bug for making a mistake. But, as I stated above, many of the people associated with DHS, the School Board and the NIAA believe they are intellectually and morally superior. Sort of reminds you of the Taliban, doesn’t it?