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Letter: Respect begins at home

Published: Saturday, May 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

In the resignation letter written by the former coach of the St. Charles East boys water polo team, the coach stated "... the words and actions of some of the members of the team have caused too much damage for me to continue in this position."

Members of the public, who are complaining that the principal and athletic director at East should have canceled the rest of the team's season, need to realize that the lack of respect and inappropriate behavior may have not come from all of the members of that team.

As a substitute teacher at both St. Charles high schools, and a parent of children who have played athletics at both high schools, I can tell you, that even in the classroom, the actions and behavior of a few students can ruin things for all the rest of the students and athletes around them. Why should the other team members, who are respectful of their coaches and who have worked hard to compete, be penalized for the actions of others? And nobody really knows the consequences dealt to each offending student, because that information is private.

Like most high schools, there is a code of conduct in place to deal with each individual student athlete and these situations, internally, within the school. It's always unfortunate when the actions of a few put a negative aura on a sports program, school and school district. And what's even more unfortunate is the distraction and penalization it creates for the students around them. 

Furthermore, if there is blame to be placed for an athlete's inappropriate behavior, it should not be directed toward a school or school district's inferred inability to enforce consequences, rather it belongs with the student and – ultimately – their parents. Respect toward others, including teachers and coaches, begins at home.

Susan Anderson

St. Charles

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