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Last week we blogged about Dighton-Rehoboth Principal John Gould suspending 41 year veteran baseball and basketball coach Bill Cuthbertson because one anonymous parent complained that his kid wasn’t getting enough playing time, and that he yelled at kids. This particular coach seems to be overwhelmingly supported by the community, and recently won a state championship in baseball.
Former players and students have come out of the woodworks to express their displeasure about the witch hunt. It’s also notable that Principal Gould, who ultimately made this decision, was driven out of Dartmouth High School after firing the well liked school resource officer because the cop didn’t want to let him keep the doors to the school propped open.
Oh, and he also did the same thing to a very well liked teacher, who received a vindictive evaluation from Gould that ended up costing the school district lots of taxpayer money.
If you made such a poor decision like that in the private sector and it cost the company money, you’d be fired. But high school administrators just bounce from place to place like disgraced catholic priests in Boston.
As bad as the principal is for doing this, the parents who try to get coaches fired because their kid isn’t playing enough are even worse. The worst disservice you can ever do to your kids is teach them that the way to overcome adversity is to whine and complain. Sometimes you might be on a team where you feel like you’re better than the kid who is getting more playing time than you. This is not a unique experience. If you wanna play more then work your ass off at practice, shoot 200 free throws a day during the summer, and prove to the coach that you are worth starting. The coach is trying to win games, and if you are THAT MUCH better than the guy next to you, he’s going to put you in. More often than not coaches have to make judgement calls between kids of a similar talent level. For reasons up to them they make the tough call. It’s why your kid calls them coach, and why they call you Dad.
When you try to circumvent this by going above the coach’s head you’re teaching your kid that hard work and dedication don’t matter, and the most important thing in life is to always get your way. It teaches kids that coaches and teachers are actively working against them, and that they are obstacles kids must overcome on their inevitable path to greatness. Nothing like this exists in the real world. You will always have a boss you don’t like, and who you feel is unfair, and your Daddy won’t be there to fire him or her.
Parents like this do what they do anonymously because they know the school isn’t going to name and shame them. It’s an epidemic. But we will, because we want to make it clear to ANY parent anywhere close to Massachusetts, that this behavior is unacceptable. And if you choose to behave like this, you will become Turtleboy famous. Forever. When someone has to Google your name and the first thing that comes up is Turtleboy, you’re gonna have a bad time.
On that note, this is Rehoboth’s John D’Ambrosio.
John grew up in Fall River and was part of the 1984 Durfee High School State Championship team. He thinks he’s reliving his glory years through his poor son, who he recklessly and selfishly dragged into this by going behind his back and getting his coach suspended. To make matters worse, his kid is a sophomore and just made the varsity team this year. Sophomores are lucky to make the varsity team at all. The mere fact that the coach picked this kid tells you that he sees promise in him, and that the kid is a part of the program’s future. But that’s not good enough for Dad, because Dad was a state champion back in 84, and his kid has start right away.
For what it’s worth, D-R isn’t even very good at basketball. From what I found they’re 6-9 or 6-10, and they don’t exactly play good teams. If you think your kid is a superstar then move to Franklin or send him to whatever the closest catholic school is, because we all know that the only thing catholic schools care about is sports. My point being, there’s no way his kid even makes the varsity team at a more competitive school, so be happy he gets a varsity letter.
Plus, the idea that Dad grew up in Fall River in the 80’s and all of a sudden is offended by coaches who yell, is laughable. There were no rules for adults back in the 80’s. They told you exactly how bad you were in the most colorful way possible because they knew it would get the best out of you.
Here’s the kicker – his wife is a teacher and a big union advocate.
Which is great, because I fully support the teacher’s union considering all the people who are constantly coming after teachers. But at the same time, how can you support the teacher’s union and then go after a coach like this? Cool solidarity dude.
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