Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I am writing to express my deep dissatisfaction with the ruling for the Goose Creek football players - yes, the football players.
I have taught over 35 years and worked with elementary to high school students. I have seen the profound effect we have on children when decisions are made in angry, punitive ways.
As adults who work in any area of youth we have an immense responsibility to make decisions that are fair, compassionate and most of all, apply to personal responsibility. The rash, unwarranted decision to punish a group of young men who had nothing to do with the technical paper work is tragic. This decision is life altering for many – our youth depends upon adults to model and teach them how to handle situations. This punitive, misdirected decision shows the lack of understanding and character.
Our youth deserves to have punishments that are directed to the offending not the whole group. What a shame that they did not understand that these players had nothing to do with the paper work, the coach self reported the error and intended no malice … an error I might add that seems to be a clerical issue from the previous school.
I worry about the unfortunate young man who is at the center of this. In his young life he has lived with more trouble, conflict and harshness than you or I have or will probably ever face. He has again learned that society does not always make sound, compassionate decisions but loves to resolve problems with punitive, misguided decisions that affect the group. He found a positive, welcoming group with the Gator football team. We can only hope he takes from this the good of the coaches and teammates and not feel the burden of the unjust decision.
I hope those who voted to eliminate the team can honestly look in the mirror each day and believe they made the right decision and not just a hard, mean-spirited choice.
San Clemente, CA