Coaching ban policy enacted with exceptions

  • Monday, July 28, 2014

Berkeley County School District’s school board has approved an unpopular amendment to a policy that has become known as the “ban on parent coaches.”

The amendment says “principals should not assign volunteer parents of student athletes that are not full time employees of the district to coaching responsibilities at the varsity or junior varsity level within the program in which their son or daughter is participating,” but allows for exceptions to be appealed at the discretion of the principal.

Prior to the 8-0 approval of the second and final reading of the addition during the July 22 regular meeting at the district office in Moncks Corner, citizens took to the lectern.

Six commenters implored the board not to pass the measure and asked the board to allow the “bad apples” to be dealt with by the principal.

“If any of them are a problem, why aren’t we dealing with them individually?” volunteer coach and father Johnny Cribb said.

Courtney Salisbury said she was worried about overreach.

“It’s unreasonable to shove a policy down constituents’ throats when no one at any of these meetings has come forward publicly in support of this proposal,” Salisbury said. “Your first obligation should be to protect the rights of the people you represent, not strip them away. You should never enact a new policy that takes away the rights and privileges of the people you represent unless all other options have been exhausted.”

Sally Wofford brought a petition signed by 512 community members opposing the amendment.

“That’s more people than showed up for the last special election for school board,” Wofford said.

She preemptively addressed board members who have said in the past that the community does not fully comprehend the intent behind the amendment: “We’re not misinformed. We understand what it’s about.”

The only person on the board to oppose the first reading of the amendment was board member Phillip Obie. Obie was absent during the July 22 reading.

In other school board news, the board voted 8-0 to spend $57,000 to construct security “storefronts” for Macedonia Middle, Whitesville Elementary, Hanahan High, Sangaree Middle and Sedgefield Middle.

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