Here’s a question: Is doing the right thing always the right thing to do, or only when it’s convenient? I would like to put that question to the principals and athletic directors of area high schools.
It seems to be a national trend these days, but I bring this up because of incidents at local schools in which student athletes displayed bad sportsmanship, angrily throwing their equipment on the ground to show their displeasure or yelling at referees.
It was a significant enough violation to get one student suspended, but the problem was that the school administrators didn’t suspend the kid there and then.
They put the suspension off until later because there was an important game or match coming up and they apparently didn’t want to hurt the team’s chances for a victory by removing a key player. What would happen if the student athlete behaved that way in the classroom? For sure the student would be suspended.
I know for a fact that some public and private school student athletes are walk- private school student athletes are walking out on their class if there is a test and the athletic directors let them get away with it.
In many cases, student athletes are caught blatantly cheating on tests and the teachers tell the administration, but they wait to do anything to the kid until after the big games are played or the playoffs are over. The suspensions were delayed and, in some cases, some of the parents of team members even objected to any suspension or any punishment at all because they thought it was no big deal and they didn’t want to harm the team.
One of the biggest problems in the end is the fact that the coaches are paid, hired and fired based on the records of their top sports teams, so their very livelihood often depends on making sure that their best athletes play at any cost.
More and more we see schools doing this sort of thing, and it’s easy to understand their motivation. But the main job of schools of any kind, public or private, is to educate — to teach. When principals and athletic directors put expediency ahead of ethics, what kind of a lesson are they teaching our kids? That morals and ethics don’t count and that “doing the right thing” is just an empty phrase?
Wouldn’t it be better to teach them that actions have consequences and that they, and the adults in charge of them, need to follow basic ethical guidelines? If a suspension caused by a violation hurts a team’s chances, then maybe that’s an important lesson the students (and parents) need to learn to encourage better behavior.
Sure, these are just games, just high school sports activities. But the lessons kids learn now will stay with them for the rest of their lives. As they grow up and mature, and evolve into families, businesses or even politics, do we really want them instilled with the idea that ethics is something they should only worry about when it’s convenient?
High school sports are often touted as being character building. Isn’t ethical behavior an important part of character? Isn’t “doing the right thing” right?
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