FORT WORTH, Texas October 23, 2013 — Is it possible to take the anti-bullying crusade too far? Most of us have experienced bullying at one time or another and know the humiliation that goes with it.
And who cannot empathize with the Western Hills High School Cougars after last Friday night’s 91-0 loss against Aledo High School’s Bearcats? Both teams gave their best, but Aledo’s football team just happens to be a whole lot better than the team at Western Hills.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the value of either team. Both teams have worked hard through the blistering Texas summer and continue to practice, and both have done their best.
In sport, there is always someone who is better, and sometimes a whole lot better. That is the way of competition.
It’s part of life. And if you are wise you will learn to deal with it instead of taking it out on innocent people.
When the story broke that a Western Hills parent filed a formal complaint against the Aledo football coaching staff for bullying based on the lopsided score, many were appalled.
What is this parent thinking? What is he teaching his son by pointing fingers and playing victim instead of showing him how to deal with disappointment? Life is loaded with disappointments and sometimes disaster. Learning skills to cope with negativity is an important part of life.
Any loving parent can empathize with the father. Moms and dads really feel for our children and wish we can make it all better but instead are powerless. Our emotions cry out for justice in the face of feeling so humiliated.
But blaming the coaches on the opposing side isn’t the way to do it.
The answer is to make the Cougars a better team. And that’s a win-win answer all the way around. Their kids deserve the best and that is how to achieve it. Making Aledo play worse is an insult to Aledo and Western Hills.
It is clear that the complaint was not against the Aledo football players. ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth says that the actual report filed is not against the players—just the coaches. The complaining parent said that the Aledo players showed extremely good sportsmanship. He felt that the Bearcat coaches bullied their players into browbeating the Cougars.
What if the Cougars had scored 91 points and Bearcats scored nothing? Would the complaining father feel the same way? What would he say if an Aledo parent filed a complaint for the same reason?
ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth also reported that Aledo head coach Buchanan and his staff spent half-time trying to figure out how to slow down their team without embarrassing the Cougars or curbing the Bearcats’ stride.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram stated, “Texas high school coach Tim Buchanan benched his starters after only 21 plays, kept to a conservative ground game and even allowed the clock to run uninterrupted after halftime to hasten the final whistle. Still, his Bearcats won 91-0.”
He even played his second and third string players.
The paper also reports that Western Hills’ head coach John Naylor disagreed with the allegations. “I think the game was handled fine. They’re No. 1 for a reason, and I know Coach Buchanan,’” Naylor told the newspaper. “We’re fighting a real uphill battle right now.”
The Aledo Independent School District has since conducted an investigation and determined that there was no wrongdoing.
1) ) Competitive sports produce winners and losers. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Unless unsportsmanlike conduct or cheating occurs, suck up your loss and extract a lesson from it.
2) Teaching our children that it’s acceptable to accuse others of ‘bullying’ simply when a superior team, organization or individual outperforms them and unfavorable outcomes result is not only poor parenting, but irresponsible instruction.
3) I pity the children of parents that take actions like this; they are depriving them of valuable lessons about loss, confidence and struggle.”
“You don’t deal with bullies by becoming one yourself. You don’t teach your kids to be strong, confident and capeable individuals by whining to bureaucrats and wasting a school’s resources because you’re embarrassed your kid got owned on the football field. Grow up parents.”
It’s easy to let your emotions take control and want what you think is justice for your child in a situation like this. But is it really justice? By embracing that attitude are you strengthening or crippling your child? Does it teach them how the real world works?
In a nearby Texas district, the Birdville High School Hawks handed the Saginaw Rough Riders their behinds on a platter on that same Friday night. The score was 46-3. No, it’s not 91-0, but it sure hurt. Saginaw parents have yet to complain.
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