Metro school applauded for their hard-line approach

8:47 AM, Jan 16, 2009   |    comments
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As a sports item it was page-6 material on a busy Saturday edition of a major Twin Cities daily. But for the lives affected personally and perhaps incidentally, it has front page implications. The story produced in the 25 lines of copy dedicated to it, was that four prominent players from a defending state champion high school sports team had been kicked off for unspecified violations of team rules. The school activities director, who is also the head coach of the team in question, confirmed that the four players had been dismissed, but correctly did not give their names or any details about the rules violation. The administrator was quoted as saying, "We were made aware of some information and dealt with it we have a value system. We care about our kids being good role models more than we care about the trophy case." Wow. One's first reaction is to think about the kids directly involved. I can't imagine what they must be going through, and I hope that they will ultimately get something positive out of what must be an embarrassing and extremely painful experience. At the start of each school year high school student athletes are required to sign a sheet that governs how they are required to conduct themselves, with the consequences for violations spelled out within, while each school may have their own rules as well. But, kids are kids, and each day brings new opportunities to violate contracts and team rules, and all too often kids simply don't think through the consequences of their actions. As the news of this situation reverberates, I'm guessing that at this school in particular, and in all the other programs across the state who become aware of this situation, kids will think twice about their actions, at least for a while. You should know that the school where this situation occurred is known for excellence in the particular sport involved. Add the fact that we're taling about a private school, that receives much in the way of free publicity when the school's teams, especially this one, do well, and you realize that the easy way out would have been for the school to turn a blind eye to the transgression of these so-called prominent players. The fact that the school chose to act boldly speaks volumes to the character of the school and the administrators involved, and sends a message that is sure to be heard by the student body and far beyond. Please understand that I feel very badly for the young people involved, and I can't imagine the pain they must be going through in this experience. I also feel badly for their teammates who chose to follow the rules and are now having their season adversely affected in a major way. But, I have to applaud the decision made by the school in that there is an opportunity in the telling of this story to get other student athletes, and perhaps, high school students in general, to stop and think before they do something that may compromise not only their ability to participate in an elective activity, but may compromise their very life itself. In this age where nobody wants to be held accountable for anything, this act by a school that has much to lose in taking this path, sends a clear message that should be heard, and shared, with the hope that many young lives will be impacted for the better.

(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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