Coach, or Bully?
We know of a case at a local high school that shines a light on the blurry line between good, aggressive and coaching and potential bullying. It also blurs the line between parents who want to protect their children and moms and dads who are hurting their children by being over-protective.
This high school is not known for its sports dominance. It began as more of an arts academy, but over the years has had a fair share of athletic success as well. The sports in question are girls lacrosse and field hockey. Not coincidentally, those are the two sports in this high school to have won city championships and beaten bigger, more established sports-minded schools. The coach, a woman, is tough and demanding. She was voted city Coach of the Year recently.
This season, several girls and parents in the field hockey program issued allegations of bullying against her. The administration and the school board backed her up. She received hundreds of emails showing support from current and former players and parents. But the handful of parents, who claim this has nothing to do with playing time, were vocal and assertive. Finally, still denying any wrongdoing, the coach resigned her position as field hockey coach and will just coach girls lacrosse.
This raises an interesting question. Was this coach really a bully, or were the parents actually the bullies? Is this the right course of action to take by the parents? Were they protecting their daughters, or actually hindering them in their abilities to cope with adversity in the "real" world?
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