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Shocking news: school district, parents act civil in debate over coaches' conduct

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In Hickory, Ind., the high school basketball coach has to survive a round of interviews with the local hayseeds.

If David Jason Stinson thinks he’s going to get back into coaching and tell players he’s going to run them until everyone quits, he’s going to face a foe much more powerful than the Jefferson County, Ky., prosecutor  — parents.

Not that parents getting involved in hiring and firing coaches is new, but the latest pattern in complaints — a pattern that’s no surprise to the masses that fill up newspaper comment boards about how we’re turning our children into pussies — is whether a coach is being verbally abusive.

Even more disturbing, it appears parents and school districts are beginning to act like adults, working together to find solutions to the problems. What the hell, man? When did the comity of the State of the Union gallery and the screeching of school board meeting crowds switch places? Is it Opposite Day, and no one told me?

Here’s an example from Barnesville, Minn., where parents are questioning whether the high school coaches are properly Minnesota nice.

From the Forum in Fargo, N.D.:

A group of residents [in Barnesville] is calling on their school district to start soliciting parent feedback on the performance of coaches.

Parents sprung to action this summer after hearing that several Barnesville coaches might have used deprecating language [including profanity] toward students during practice – concerns they say athletes and parents are reluctant to voice for fear of retribution.

District officials have balked at the idea of a parent survey that would count toward coach evaluations. They point out the district has a streamlined system to handle complaints, and they scoff at the idea a coach’s livelihood should depend on input from adults who are generally not around at practice time.

The clash has spawned a well-attended parent meeting to air concerns, an open records request for district e-mails and, more recently, a compromise solution [to have student athletes fill out anonymous surveys created by parents and the district].

And all of this echoes a heated Minnesota debate over parental input about coach performance – to some, an out-of-line bid to micromanage; to others, a way to rein in a growing emphasis on winning in high school athletics.

“This has got to be the No. 1 hottest issue parents have in high school and junior high,” says Mary Cecconi of Parents United, a Minnesota parent advocacy group.

Parents and administrators are working together to create a solution? C’mon, Minnesota! Where’s the screaming! Where’s the outrage? Where are the signs depicting the athletic director as Stalin, Hitler and Castro?

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This is the kind of lameness that Minnesotans called a raucous health reform debate. You call this an angry mob?

Written by rkcookjr

September 23, 2009 at 11:54 pm

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