2007-10-09 / Letters

Rules apply to everyone

I am the mother of a student at Hanna Springs. Recently, the school sent a Badger football student attendance form home with my child. For those who don't know, this is a list of rules the third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students have to follow while at the football game. I realize there have to be rules, but rules must apply to everyone, not just a few, and must be enforced at all times.

The rules state that if a student is serving DAEP, ISS or OSS, he or she may not attend the football game with or without their parents/legal guardians.

I know one of the varsity starting football players got a DWI this past summer. He is still allowed to play. As punishment, he had to run. As far as I know, he doesn't have to sit out any games. But, if my child is given ISS for any reason, he or she cannot attend the football game with me, his parent.

I'm sorry, but this is a joke -- these rules, this town. [For example,] the rule that fifth- and sixth-grade students have to use the concession stand and restrooms in the north end of the field.

On Homecoming Friday, my family and I sat with another family who has a son in the sixth grade. He was sitting with us and went to the concession stand for drinks and snacks with his little brother. When he got to the concession stand in the south end of the field, someone asked his age and sent him all the way to the north end and informed him he had to use that concession stand. I understand why there are rules, but is it really necessary to make a well-behaved child who was sitting with his parents be redirected to another concession stand simply became of his age? As far as I am concerned, it is more dangerous to allow the very large group of adults to gather in the south end of the field, causing congestion.

To some of you, this may seem minor compared to the other problems we are facing as a community. What kind of community do we want other people to see? A community that allows athletes to continue to participate in sports after breaking the law, or a community that sticks by its rules and treats every student the same, no matter who he or she is?

Several years ago, a young man got an MIP the summer before his senior year. This boy was a very talented athlete. Coach Mark Kehoe, sticking by his rules, did not allow this young man to play on his football team, even though he had been an asset to the team the previous year. There are not many coaches like Mark Kehoe. It seems like all the good leaders and school officials in this town are either pushed out or leave on their own.

You may think this is petty, but what if your child is the varsity second-team player who attends every practice, makes good grades and has never been in trouble at school let alone with the law, but never gets to play. Maybe your child is the student who served one day of ISS, and now you and your family can't attend the football game. Yet, one of the starting football players has had a DWI.

I can understand why a coach wouldn't want to lose a strong player, but what I can't understand is why there is still a football team. Why would anyone allow their child to play second to an athlete who has broken the law?

I have a lot of respect for teachers, coaches, principals and childcare providers. No one asks you to be in this profession; you choose it. It takes a special person to take care of and teach other people's children, especially if you have your own. I have not always been happy with my children's teachers and other school employees. With your help, my children are growing up to be wonderful young adults.

Sometimes we are faced with situations we can't handle. In cases like this, I feel maybe UIL should step in and make some kind of rules that apply to all UIL participants. Coaches should not have to make decisions on how to punish athletes in a way that is fair to other athletes, the parents and the community.

Underage drinking is a problem in this town, and it will continue to be a problem as long as it is allowed. What are we saying to our children? Driving while intoxicated is serious. There are men and women filling our prison due to DWI charges, and that is minor due to the number of deaths related to drunk drivers.

My family and I have always been community supporters. We all have to support our children and the businesses in this town. But I have a hard time supporting something so wrong.

Jamie Sanchez

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