Open Letter to the Grayson County School Board

“I don’t care what kind of pressure to win that you face from the administration. If winning is your primary goal as a coach you have significantly lost your way and as a consequence, you’ll actually win less.”
Alan Goldberg, PhD

[Before reading and commenting on this, please see announcement here. If you have already commented and your comment is not showing up, you may want to take a little gander as well.]

Dear Superintendent:

Although you have already been made aware by telephone of this recent situation at the high school, I wanted to proceed with providing something in writing for the files.  I am copying all parties involved.

Last week, after a boys’ varsity basketball game (another loss), my son pulled his coach outside the locker room to speak to him privately.  He asked him why he and a few of the other upperclassmen were constantly remaining on the bench while the coach allowed the younger, recently promoted JV players to play instead. This behavior had been taking place throughout the previous nine games of the season.  My son had not mentioned anything to the coach prior to this particular night, and had handled his disappointment with a maturity beyond his years.  All parties will agree that he also handled this private conversation with the coach in a very mature, calm manner as well. The coach, possibly upset because of the recent loss to add to many others, responded to my son with, “They get to play more because you’re not as good as them.”

[Let me interrupt here by saying that, (1) this is absolutely not true. My son and the other benched players have the same set of skills that the others do and twice as much heart.  And, (2) no coach should ever…EVER…speak to a child in that manner.]

So, after hearing those words from his coach, my son (who’s heart and soul was in this team and his fellow players), fought back tears and shook his coach’s hand and told him to have a nice rest of the season.  He then came upstairs and told myself, his father, his step-father, and his grandfather what had just taken place. He was in tears, which is a rare occurrence for a sixteen-year-old boy, as I’m sure you can imagine.

And, as I’m also sure you can imagine, this did not sit well with his family.

[Let me interrupt here yet again with a story. One day I stopped at a gas station on my way to work. A sweet little black dog started to come up to me. Thinking, “aww, he loves me,” I bent down to pet him. Instead, he walked straight past me, proceeded to pee on my tire, and then went back to his spot and lay back down. This, my friends, is what had just happened to my son.  But, I digress….]

After hearing of what happened, I proceeded to go downstairs to speak with the coach. I remained outside the locker room waiting for him to come out. I was approached by the athletic director and two of the assistant coaches, who all told me that any incidences that happen in a game have a mandatory 24-hour wait period before they can be discussed. While I did understand this rule, the incident in question was not something that happened in the game. It was something that happened after the game, when my son was humiliated by his own coach. So, I remained where I was waiting to speak to the coach. Once we realized that the coach had actually snuck out the back door of the locker room to avoid speaking to me (cute), the athletic director offered to call the principal to discuss the matter. I took him up on that offer. I spoke to the principal, to the assistant coaches, and to the athletic director about the situation, but not to the coach, who had snuck away to avoid facing his actions.

While on the phone with the principal, she offered a meeting during the day the next day at the school. I explained to her that I work out of town and that timing would not be convenient for me. So, she suggested (as a first step) to speak with the coach and my son privately first thing in the morning, to which I agreed.

However, this is far from what happened.

My son’s grandfather called the high school first thing in the morning to arrange for him to be at the meeting due to my son’s father’s physical limitations that make it hard for him to get into the school. After a series of holds (one of which exceeded 20 minutes), my son’s grandfather was told that he was not “allowed” to attend the meeting. The school then proceeded to have the meeting, which did not in fact take place just between the coach and my son, but which included the coach, an assistant coach, the principal, the vice-principal, and the athletic director. And my son. Alone, with no one on his side. The principal insists that they were “all there for my son,” but that is highly unlikely due to what took place.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

During this meeting, the coach first blatantly lied and said that he did not say that to my son. He then proceeded to imply that “if he had,” then “isn’t that what coaching is all about?”  (The principal also suggested this when speaking to me on the telephone later…that every child has a “role” on the team. Apparently my child’s role was to be told that he was no good and just be there as a practice dummy for the “real” players during practices.) Well, Mr. Coach. And Ms. Principal – let me explain something to you.

No, that is absolutely NOT what coaching is all about.

I have been a coach myself. I just recently coached a running team that consisted of all girls…all of varying speeds and abilities…and I would never, EVER, look at one of them and tell them they weren’t as good as the others. No, a coach’s role is to nurture their players, both mentally and physically, and help them become the best players they can be. Telling them they are not “good enough” and keeping them on the bench where they can’t get any experience are not the way to do that.

But look at me digressing again.

So, after the highly inappropriate meeting of many members of “authority” ganging up on my son, he was sent back to class and nothing was accomplished.  He was still off the team and the coach still insisted that nothing was ever said to him to cause all of this.

Our family was irate. I spoke with the principal who, as I implied earlier, reminded me that “even if the coach had said that to him, that is a coach’s role,” and then my son’s father followed up with a phone call with regards to his disapproval of the way the situation was handled.  He went to the school and, very painstakingly, made his way to a repeat meeting that included the same people, minus my son who did not want to miss his first day of classes in the new semester. At this meeting, nothing was accomplished either, and the coach was the first to get frustrated and get up and leave – before the meeting was officially over.  Mature behavior? I think not.

There were two more games last week that took place after these events. My son attended them to cheer on his team.  Talk about maturity. At both of these events, while all other parties involved spoke to my son (including the athletic director and assistant coaches), the coach did not. In fact, at one game, he was walking towards him, saw he and his grandfather standing there, and proceeded to physically turn around and head the opposite way to avoid having to speak to him.

Is this the kind of person we want leading our children?

In the days following this incident, I have heard a few things that may shine some light on the happenings of last week. I have learned that another sports team was caught doing something that was against the rules, but were allowed to resume. Perhaps a punishment was enacted, but the team members continue to play. Most notably, however, I have also learned that the principal and the coach have been “buddies” since high school.

Now, you have to understand, I didn’t grow up in a small town. I grew up as an Army brat. So, this small town “good ole boy” politics is something that is brand new to me. And it is something that does not sit well, to say the least.  I will not allow this to lie dormant.

Something must be done about this situation. What we, his parents, want is this: we want our son’s position reinstated on the team and we want the coach’s and the principal’s behavior in this situation to be addressed by someone in a higher position. We want our child to be believed and treated with respect. We want everyone involved to act as maturely as our son has and put this situation behind us, with a better understanding of what a coach’s role should be.

I will anticipate a speedy response to my request. I am making this letter public on my blog because, while I may not be able to enact a change, I can definitely enact awareness of the situation. My next step is the local newspaper (with names inserted), but I’m sure we’ll be able to come to an understanding and a compromise before it has to go that far.


Melissa Edmondson
(A highly upset and fiercely determined mother)


86 responses »

    • Every now and then, we do things that we regret. As parents, we hope when our children do these things, they learn from them and grow to be wiser and stronger individuals. Children get upset, say things they shouldn’t, and often partake in actions they will regret. Your son quit the basketball team. He quit. Period. He asked a question, and did not like what he heard as the answer. From reading your letter, if it is what the coach actually said (there are two sides to every story), he just didnt like the answer. I feel that an honest answer is honorable, and sugar coating things is what makes our children vulnerable as adults.
      Now, it is time for you to be a mother, and show your son the dignified way to handle his mistake. He does not need to handle HIS mistake by bashing the underpaid, under appreciated, hard working coaches and administrators who try to teach kids how to handle academic and life challenges.
      Tough love is one of the most difficult concepts to adhere to as a parent. When we see our children upset, we often go into attack mode. Attacking others is often a way of diverting attention from the true issue, and make ourselves, and our children feel better about wrongly justifying the mistake that was made.
      Two wrongs do not make a right. Your son was wrong by quitting the team. Help him learn from his actions and not blame the one’s who are holding him accountable for what he said and did. As an adult, he will not be able to go into this attack mode and blame someone else for what he does. If he quits a job, I guarantee his boss will not give his job back when he verbally attacks him or her to everyone he talks to (or his mother doing the same).
      I commend the coach, the principal, and the school for holding this young man accountable for his actions. He made a mistake, and he should learn from this mistake, so he does not do it again in the future. I am sure he is a fine young man. So help him grow and teach him to deal with difficult situations in the proper manner.

      • This is not “bashing” the coach. This is “bashing” and calling light to the way a situation was very poorly handled by members of authority. But thank you for your response and for reading. I appreciate and read all comments, for or against.

  1. I am a GCHS cheerleader and I would like to say a few things. First of all, you have absolutely not right to mention me or any of my fellow cheerleaders in your letter or your “fight.” You know absolutely nothing about the situation, so therefore don’t jump to conclusions. Anything that happens with my team, and squad is certainly handles and people are punished. Just because someone didn’t put it in the newspaper or write a letter about it to the school board doesn’t mean that it wasn’t handled, it means that it was handled properly and with a fight. I am also a tennis player, and as a tennis player it took many years of practice to get to where I am. If you don’t know anything about tennis, this is how it works. There are 6 seats, which means that only the best 6 players get to plays to actually compete against the other schools. We don’t switch out, you earn your spot and that’s the way it goes. Same thing in basketball, high school sports are no longer rec. Not everyone gets to play, you earn your spot on the court.

    • You are certainly welcome to state your opinion, just as I am. Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing. However, first of all, my point in mentioning the cheerleaders is that you were allowed to continue cheering, even after something taking place that was against the rules. That is a fact, young lady. And this argument has nothing to do with whether my son played – it is about how he was treated by the coach when he addressed the issue. You have a lot of things to learn. I’m glad you get to play, but I’m sorry to tell you that the reason behind that might not lie in your ability to do so. There are many more factors at play in this school system and one day when you’re older, you will see that. Until then, feel free to comment on here all you want to. It’s a free country.

      • First of all, “old lady” you have no idea what happened so therefore when you “hear things” maybe you should check your facts first. Maybe we’re still cheering because we didnt cause a fuss and cry about it, we stood up and accepted our punishment and went on with life, just like you need to do. Sometimes the truth hurts, so maybe it’s not the fact that the coach was being rude or mean, he was simplying stating a fact. Next time you state your facts make sure to keep us out of it, because our lives and what we do in them is none of your business.

    • See how respectable the cheerleaders are? Thank you, Hannah Graham for proving what everyone already knows. Miss Graham’s father is also a sheriff’s deputy, if I may point out. I’m sure your father is proud, but I also suppose he is the reason you haven’t received punishment for your actions yet. Learn some manners, please. You’re a big fish in a little pond, dear.

      • I am so blown away by how egotistic parents can be in our community. Its about the kids, and lets talk about the blown opportunity for this kid to use this as a learning experience. Perhaps this summer he will pick up a basketball and improve his game. At age 16, my parents would have laughed at me if I had told them that. Understand that rejection and not being good enough is a part of life and you can either embrace the opportunity to grow and improve,….. or you can complain about “injustice”.

      • Hey, you know what? If he wasn’t good enough to play, why the heck did he make the team? If you don’t think politics and favoritism are at play, then either your head is quite far in the sand or you are lucky enough to not live in a small town.

  2. Well said! I have played sports while growing up, and none of the coaches treated us like this. More recently, however, my children have played sports, and coaches have a new “set of rules” on how to coach. I believe more coaches need to have courses in human relations, and learn how to treat people. I’m behind you 100%….go get ’em!

  3. When a teacher can get a DUI and get only a slap on the wrist, you know the school is done for. She and the principal are buddy-buddy and can do no wrong! I have a lot to say about GCHS and none of it is good. The Grayson County Yard Sale page announcement just goes to show she is always in the interest of her buddies and never a student,

  4. I work with coaches on a collegiate level, and I must say that ‘some’ not all, are the most arrogant individuals I have ever met. Those are usually the same coaches that refuse to follow the rules after repeatedly be told what the rules are. Nothing is ever done to them, no repercussions whatsoever. I’m glad that someone called them (coaches and ADs) out on their b.s. I’m tired of their arrogance and ignorance. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, coach.

  5. Wow. The disrespect of teenagers is totally out of control. I am a former GCHS Cheerleader and never did I speak to an adult in that manner. I got punished for being 1 minute late to pregame and I took my punishment knowing I would learn and grow. But this Momma has every right to defend her son. Yes there is tough love even from a coaching standpoint but to be flat out rude and crush this child. Grayson County has serious issues. It’s not going to get better unless Parents take a stand!!

  6. wow!! Not sure who’s whinning more the kid or the parent. Sounds like you both need to realize life ain’t all cotton candy clouds and rainbows.

    • You are more than welcome to your opinion. But the next time your child is called a liar to his face about something he knows is the truth and is ganged up on by a team of authority members who don’t have his best interests at heart, please come back and voice your opinion again then.

  7. As a parent I can put myself in your shoes! And you have every right to be pissed about the handling of this situation! The one thing I know for sure is there are 3 sides to this story, your sons, the coaches, and the truth! In regard to the small town good ole boy system I’ll tell you it’s strong! And trust me you being an Army brat your military parent most assuredly benefited from it! I am from Grayson, play almost every sport, well I might add! And I was not connected or in the system! I saw it from time to time as did everyone but more times than not the best players on the team were on the floor or field! And I was among them because I willed it…I was a starter…I decided to be better than my team mates! I played with guys who never saw more than a few moments and finished their HS sports career with less than 20 points! This is life, reality and just he way it should be! The coach can motivate at his discretion but should never be rude or disrespectful! But success is earned at practice and on your own! I to was in the military and am a Purple Heart and Bronze star recipient I know a little bit about life’s ups and downs …and currently a LE officer at a very high level and see the fruit or lack of the right choices or lack of understanding them! will tell you your not good enough at every turn if you let it! It will knock you down! The coach whom I know and myself played under the same style of coaching…greatest coach I ever had…because he gave me a clear view of success and failure and it worked for me! The bottom line is you should never be disrespectful or harm a kids ambition….but all party’s should know it’s not a right to play its earned…be sure of the event before you go big… sure you have the facts…be sure you know the consequences of your words….not on you but your son…he is the only one who will wear them in GC! There is a chance to learn and grow from this I hope the opportunity isn’t lost on a mothers rage and transformed into life prepertion. If indeed it all went down as you say fight! I would but be sure the battle is why you say and not just to protect feelings! All the best I hope everyone gets what they want! WHEN the real world bits your so. In a few yes as it will us all…GC won’t be such a bad place to be! Good luck!

  8. Hannah should no pt be talking to an adult in that manner at all. She is a huge reason why cheerleaders have such a bad reputation. I agree with your blog and I hope you can get things straightened out and let the fellow students on GCHS be proud to be a blue devil and not be tore down with statements that which are not true and should never be said to young kids.

  9. Oh do I know how you feel. I was in that same situation right here in Ashe County with good ole Coach Grubb.( Ha Ha) My son had played ball since he was five years old and had made the middle school and high school teams. Most of this time he sat on the bench but he was fine with that because he loved the game and being with his friends. Well then came the senior year and after attending required basketball camp at Emory & Henry and practicing all summer under the new coach Scott Grubb ,he was cut from the team. Devastated is an under statement. I was like you only i was waiting in the parking lot and I wasn’t going anywhere (maybe to jail). It was a funny thing to me he was good enough before but not for Grubb. Instead of letting him sit on the bench he moved up two sophmores. This momma turns into a different person when you mess with her kids. Not only did it devastate him it embarrassed him and sent him into depression. Not only did he hurt him he hurt the rest of us. He took that senior moment from me when I could have walked out on the court and been the proud mom. I didn’t get that. I thought a coach was supposed to be a role model, someone they could talk to if they had a problem, apparently not. Believe me the coach will earn a name for himself because that is what happened in our situation. Many of the teammates quit right after that and then the next year there were only two seniors that returned to play. People are still talking about him and how he needs to be fired. I only hope I get to see that happen. My advice to you is to just be there for your son let him know that he is the mature one and is was nothing that he done. My son is so over it now and now says it was a blessing. I also want to say Go Momma Bear and let it ROAR!!!!! I am sure you probably have already heard my story because most people have. You don’t want to be on the receiving end when this momma is mad. Best of luck to your son.

  10. Any high school coach who places winning above teaching sportsmanship and values should be removed from his position. Period! There is one winner and one loser in most sporting events. Does that make half of our young athletes losers? What terrible role models the staff at Grayson High School are! Shame on all involved. This is the well being of one of your students you are dealing with here! Doesn’t that matter at all to the coach and principal of this school?

    • Ability level aside a coach shouldn’t talk to the players like this. I went to a tournament game over Christmas and watched as 1 team had 9 players and the other easily had 18. The team with more players kept rotating fresh people in and did so throughout the game. The team with 9 players kept the same 5 players on the court for about 65% of the game. Shockingly the team with fresh players dominated the game and took an easy victory over the team with 9 players. When one if the players comes back from the locker room after a 12 minute break and his face is still beet red it’s pretty obvious he may have been a bit tired. I’m not a coach, never was, but I could even see that. I’m curious not knowing this school how many students attend? If only 9 students wish to play is it because there aren’t many students or is there an underlying issue with students just not wanting to play that sport or with that coach?

  11. While I was never interested in athletics, nor was I associated with the department, I myself attended Grayson County High School. I graduated a few years ago and moved a few states over after attending Wytheville Community College and graduating from there. I completely understand the mentality and ‘good ole boy’ attitude you’re talking about here. I grew up in and around Grayson County, but can (sadly) say that I’m completely happy that I left there. I was never around anyone that was a part of the athletics department, or went through that mess, but I know just how ridiculous it can be. If you ask me, that High School (and area to be totally honest), has always had poor leadership. While it isn’t my place to comment on the students that are there NOW… You can clearly see what the school is becoming. There are quite a few teachers there (or were when I attended) that loved each and every one of their students, and cared deeply about them and did everything they could to help them. The principal we had in my time also cared about the students, but also about academics. It seems to me that the school has slowly fallen into the pit of “athletics trumps all” – leaving the children to fend for themselves academically and spiritually. When a school does nothing but promote their athletics…and then turn around and basically verbally beat down the students whom they feel ‘aren’t good enough to participate’..then what good is a school? Doesn’t that just make it..a sports team? (Albeit a not-very-together one?)
    Freedom of speech and all that… I commend your son for handling everything so maturely. I commend you as well for standing up for this nonsense. While there are some children or parents whom may preach that this is some form of parental vanity.. It truly isn’t. The case is different when someone wants to blame their child’s teacher for the child’s grades. (Situation depending..but you get the idea.) This is standing up for your child. On top of that – Isn’t there some sort of unspoken rule about the authority figures having had that meeting without a GUARDIAN present?
    I hope the School Board’s lid flips for this and flips hard.

  12. I wrestled played football and baseball for Grayson years ago. And our family was not from the area. I got beat every single day in practice and my first year wrestling I started 2 times. In football I rode the pine for 3 years. Did I cry to the coach?? No I got better worked hard got to start in football my senior year. Was 2 time district champ 2 time all region and all state in wrestling. If your son wants it tell him to earn it. It will server him well both now and later in life.
    When your told your not good enough true or not you got 2 choices work hard get better or quit and you better stop babying your kid and let him know in sports and real life winners take setbacks and grow from them. Losers quit and ask for special treatment and never earn anything

    I’m quite sure this isn’t what you want to hear but the last thing this world needs is another person that thinks rather than hard work anything should be given to them. If it’s earned its something he can take pride in

    • Listen – this goes far beyond his not getting to play. This is about how the situation was handled. About a huge team of authority ganging up on my kid at a meeting that a parent was not present for. People are taking whatever they want out of what I said and focusing on it, and that’s fine. Have your say. But this is not about “babying” my kid. This is about people in authority doing their jobs correctly…and that is NOT happening and needs to be addressed.

  13. This is ridiculous the Coach is a good great coach and an even greater person. After the game after a loss he’s going to be a little frustrating and when you’re frustrated you say things you don’t mean and aren’t in the mood to talk about an incident right after the game.

    • Totally understandable. And all we have asked all along is for him to admit what he said and apologize for it. But he won’t. He blatantly denies it and it has caused my child to not only lose his place on the team but to be looked at as a liar because this “great” man won’t own up to what he has done. That is not acceptable and this will not be dropped until something is done about it.

    • A great person or coach would have admitted that they were wrong and frustrated then apologized. or suggested they speak about it another day. No child deserves to be told this. never.

  14. I to attended Grayson County High School but was never involved in sports there. I tried out for the basketball team once but the preps made me feel unwelcome and all players including the coach asked me to leave. I felt like cap after being treated so badly but quickly got over it because it made me wise up to the way the school was ran. The preps ran the school and this was because one of the preps mom was the principal at the time so if you were a prep you might as well forget being happy. I am so proud you are standing up to the school system because not many people do but when you run the school what does your parents need to stand up for? You’ve done it all for them. Tell your son not to worry and that he’s better off. It’s funny that when we had coaches that loved and cared for there player we won and we won a lot but we got coaches that were more worried about winning than the students and we stopped winning because the players didn’t care and weren’t happy any longer. I was different than all the rest of my class mates and was picked on throughout school and there was only one guidance counselor (woman) who talked to me and loved me for me and I was so happy I had at least one person on my side. Enough about me though…. just move on and if he’s still not happy transfer your son to galax, that will surely piss GCHS off or to Sparta NC. I really hope the school board wised up and makes some major changes. Good luck snd fight like hell. As to all these other children commenting saying you don’t know what your talking about there just mad cause there preps and always get there way but one day they won’t and they will realize you had all the right.

  15. It is not always a coach’s job to be nourishing and supportive. As someone who played a sport for GCHS, I can remember many times being told that what I was doing was simply not good enough. I see nothing wrong with a coach answering a question about playing time honestly, especially if the answer was that he thought the other players were better. Being told you are not as good as other players, is not the same as being told you are no good. You are right that if the coach thought he was no good he wouldn’t have made the team to begin with.

    I’m not going to comment about anything in the meetings, because all we have in the blog post are 3rd party comments of what happened from an upset parent.

    According to your letter, you want your son to be put back on the team and have the coach change the way he handles questions from players. I do not think that anyone else should be able to give a spot on a team back to someone, that should be between the player and the coach to work out. It seems as if, maybe, your son regrets quitting the team, which is what he did. One of, if not, the greatest basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan, once said “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

    • I highly disagree with it EVER being ok for a person in authority to tell a child he’s not as good as the others. If he had things he needed to work on, THAT is what he should’ve told him, and then did something like…oh, I don’t know…COACH him? But no – humiliating him seemed like the best approach at the time I suppose. And yes, my son does regret walking out like he did, but this should’ve never happened in the first place. He’s 16…he’s allowed to have emotional responses to things and act like a 16-year-old. The coach is supposed to be an adult.

      • Perhaps the emotions of 16 year olds is one reason for the 24 hour rule. My son was cut from the 8th team as a 7th grader. Although upset, he decided to work on what HE could control. He lifted weights and got stronger. He also vowed to out work every other player. He now starts as a junior on the varsity team. I’m sure there are parents crying that he plays because of politics, but ultimately whether he plays or doesn’t is up to the coach.

      • I have said this about 7000 times, and I will say it again. This is not about play time. This is about the way the administration handled a problem. And, it is about the way a coach spoke to his player. It is not right, and something should be done about it. That is what I am trying to do.

  16. Thank you for writing this and shedding light on the underbelly of sports.. This could have easily been in my small town.. Your son sounds like a great young man. He did exactly what he was supposed to. Kudos to him. No child should be made to feel less than not EVER. No excuse

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I’m glad this is being shared in areas besides our small town, because I know these kinds of things happen in small towns all over the world. Maybe one person standing up to it will cause a domino effect of others doing the same. Our kids should not be treated this way. It has to stop.

  17. I have heard multiple times around the school this past week about how your son did not use polite words while dealing with the Coach. (From other varsity players) That coach is a great man and he’s going to play the people that will get him farther. You’re son is lucky he made the team his junior year without having played at all or for a long time. He shouldn’t have expected to play much, if at all, when everyone else on the team has played every year, including the ones he moved up.

    • Dear Anonymous (cute):

      You “heard” wrong, my dear. Ask the coach what words he used when dealing with him. He was understandably upset after his dealings with the coach, but his interaction with the coach himself was nothing but polite. Ask him. Then, come back armed with knowledge before you comment again.

      • I’m sorry, but if your son still wanted to be apart of the team, he shouldn’t have quit. I know I had to work hard to get the positions I wanted. And I wouldn’t quit because the coach said something rude to me. I know one of my coaches doesn’t like me, but I still played. And I Sat the bench for about the entire season. I know people disagree with this, but I think the coach is there to tell you how it is, teach you, and not be a counselor.

      • We have had some problems with the way the administration handles other things at Grayson High as well that had nothing to do with sports! As a parent I hope you continue to get something done about the way the administration handles things! Need to clean some house starting with the principal! Keep on keeping on untill they do something about this!!

  18. “Anonymous” – no, a coach isn’t there to be a counselor. But he sure as heck isn’t there to crush a child’s spirit either. He’s there to COACH. And to treat his players with respect. Perhaps you’d see more wins on the scoreboard if he tried that. And David – thank you for your support. There’s no way I’m quitting.

  19. Thank you for standing up for not just your child but the children as a whole! The Principal is very unprofessional and does not have the childrens best interest at heart.Such a shame.

  20. I’m not going to assume I have enough information to take a side here, nor is it really my place to do so. However as a high school teacher (not at GHS, but from a similar demographic), be prepared for some of the problems you are setting your son up for. You are correct that you are appealing to the administration for them all to act with a level of maturity, however you also obviously recognize that the students themselves may lack that same level of respect. By holding this discussion here, on a public forum, you are placing your son in a position to be judged by his peers, and the eyes of the high school student are quick to find or even assign flaw. While you are dealing with these conversations from some degree of safety, your son will have to face it, day in and day out. Is he prepared to receive the inevitable immature backlash that will come as word gets out and more and more students read this? Are you prepared for how he will feel if his classmates reject him? This is your battle. Please be careful not to make him a casualty.

    • Valid points, but I weighed the consequences heavily before going public, and my son and I have spoken. He has not received backlash and is strong enough to handle it if he does. If you understand this kind of situation at all (small town politics, etc.) you understand that going public is the only way to get anyone’s attention and get anything done. I have thought through this at length and have done what needs to be done. And will continue to do what needs to be done to ensure that another child is not treated this way.

  21. You are absolutely right. If your child comes to a coach demanding to know why he isn’t playing the coach should NEVER say “because the other player is better than you”. Coaches should ALWAYS lie to our children to make them feel better. Good Lord knows they’ll have to face the realities of the world all too soon. Furthermore, coaches should never make a decision about who to play without consulting the parents. Parents are by far more adroit at making unbiased judgments regarding their own children. You keep fighting for your child his whole life! When his boss at work tells him he did something wrong, be sure to stand up for him then just like you are now. I wish you both the best of luck in life. Keep roaring, Mama Lion!

    • Nice use of sarcasm. The writer in me approves.

      As I have said 7000 times before, and will make this the 7001st, this is not about play time. It is about the atrocious way the administration handled this situation. But you are welcome to pick and choose what you want to hear and run with it. Everyone else does.

  22. If this post isn’t about playing time then why even mention the amount of playing time he recieves? If this coach denies that he said that to your son have you ever stopped to think ‘is this coach really at fault here? Did my son exaggerate his coaches words just a little?’ Not trying to call your son a liar but from what I understand it was only your son and the coach having this discussion no one else heard the coaches statement except for your son and since the coach denies your son allegations then we truly don’t know who’s lying and who isn’t. And if the Coach is being truthful about not saying the things he did then you are ruining his reputation as a Coach and as a man. Put yourself in his shoes for a moment and think if you would like your name being humiliated because someone’s kid may or may not have lied about the situation. What I’m saying is you have no concrete evidence to support the claim that this man said what you’re saying he said. And even though you have no concrete evidence you are making this public and ganging up on this coach and ridiculing him like the school board did the exact same to your son. If you don’t wish that upon your son why put the exact same burden on someone else? Thank you for letting me post. Again I mean no bad intentions to you or your son.

  23. And I have also heard that your son did not handle the situation as polite as you say he did. But only him and the coach know how it was dealt so what I heard could be false but like I said before you were not with them it was just your son and the coach so how can you make these allegations relying on just your sons Word and his word alone?

    • You heard wrong. And I believe him because he’s my son. I saw how crushed he was immediately following and most kids don’t walk away from their coach in tears. Also, he would’ve never quit a team that he loves so much if his heart hadn’t been broken. I’ll go to my grave knowing that man is a liar and is running from facing his actions.

  24. If that’s what your fighting for…why did you allow the administration to hold a meeting without you in the first place! Looks like this list of people who failed him includes you! You felt it was important enough to take all the steps out lined in your letter and create this hostile environment that will spill over on your kids negatively that you let him walk into that meeting unprotected! No mama lion I know does that! Ye without sin cast the first stone! Shame on you!

    • Do the people who comment on this actually read it? Geez. I specifically mentioned that I thought that as a FIRST step, it would be nice for the principal to talk to the coach and my son ALONE…to not have anyone else around and hope they came to an understanding without having to make a huge deal out of it. What happened is that they had a MASSIVE meeting with many people present that I was not made aware of. Big difference. Thus, this whole thing. You might want to pay attention to the details before you start spouting off nonsense.

      But hey, thanks for reading. Awareness is awareness.

  25. Oh I read it….and if it was that big of a deal that you needed addressed that same night….maybe you would have made sure he was treated right in the meeting! That’s your responsibility! Seems this is more about you making a fuss! He will pay for your mess in school everyday!

    • Fear of reprisals is how these things are allowed to happen. It is why so many who would play sports at ghs do not. While our child was not treated poorly as this one was, she would not even allow us to question coaching decisions for fear this coach ( also a teacher) would find some way to punish the audacity academically . Kudos to your son for being strong enough to allow you to fight for him.

      • I need to make more clear that we probably are not dealing with the same coaches but the same athletic program that allows these travesties to take place. I truly commend you and you family for taking a stand.

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  28. Oh I went there! I know exactly what your doing to your kid! And I know how the faculty and student will see you, him and this situation! You and your son are ruined!

  29. I am also a GCHS cheerleader and I have nothing but respect for adults. If you don’t mind me asking why are you taking this blog to the newpaper and school board if you are wanting to remove them from the county all together? You may fight and show determination to win, but I feel that that’s how the school system works, and that’s not only grayson county. I personally know your kids and they are going through this “fight” in shame. I can’t help but feel bad because I know that kids will not understand this from your point of view and and blame them. I also know that this blog is getting a lot of attention which is making you more anxious to win. But I suggest not making it a fight because basically it is you against a whole school. I’m sorry this happened and I’m not trying to show disrespect by any means, I just wanted you to think about it from a students point. This isn’t rec anymore and not everyone will get to play. They are athletes so it is almost implied that the coaches will not treat them well. I personally feel that Grayson County has excellent coaches and we are privileged to have them. This whole fight is going from one persons opinion to another. Also, are you protesting what you saw or just what you child told you? I may not be an adult so please do not refer to me as a “child” or “young lady” I just wanted to give you my opinion with respect and from my own perspective. (Not all cheerleaders are disrespectful)

    • I do appreciate your opinion and appreciate the respectful way that you stated it. Some things cannot be left silent. They just can’t be. I’m sorry that you attend a school that is comprised of such hateful, spiteful people, but I’m sad to inform you that you are. As I’ve said 8000 times now, this is not about play time. This is about a corrupt set of authority and the way they handled a situation…and the way they are continuing to handle it. I will not stop until something is changed. This is not about “winning.” This is about protecting the kids from good ole boy politics that will only hurt them in the end.

  30. Time will tell…may not be afraid but not thinking clearly! When this blows up and your son is attending a new school, still not playing and still under the shadow you created….it will be just as public as this!

  31. Reading this letter has me astonished, it really does show you how ignorant, drama filled, and attention seeking parents can be. If I was in your sons shoes I would be beyond embarrassed. Your son is 16 years old. He is playing on a varsity league basketball team, with high school boys. The team is built up by learning how to win. That’s what the team wants along with the coaches, athletic director, and principals. If you understand the game, you will understand that coaches put in their better players to score, and if the team is up in points, they will put in the boys who need to understand the game more. You have to earn your spot on the team, yes your son made the team, to fill in the empty sets. There is a senior on the team as well who sits the bench but you never hear his mouth running nor his mother lashing out because “he’s not as good as the others”. If your son cannot handle the truth, then he simply does not need to play. What do you expect? The truth hurts sometimes, there is no need for you to step in and blow it all out of the water causing more drama than there needs to be. Your son can stand up for himself. The coach said a few things to your son, and your son ran his mouth as well. From what I see and hear, your son is very immature when it comes to handling situations like this or any other ones. What is going to happen when he goes to college and his roommate tells him he isn’t good enough to be studying what he’s studying or even good enough to be at college? Are you going to write another ignorant blog that no one seems to be doing anything about and whine how your son doesn’t have a “good” name like other kids have? It’s called earn their respect and your spot. Cussing out their coach will not get you to start the game, or even play for that matter. No kid will ever get far in life for quitting the game, or giving up because “they don’t play” or “they aren’t good enough”. Think about how invalid your argument is. All parents want anymore is attention and it’s pathetic.

    • My son never…NEVER…cussed the coach and he will tell you as much. Were you there? Do you have some inside information that I’m unaware of? If not, then keep your false information to yourself, please.

      And you are darn right about this being about attention. I want all the attention in the world. Because the more people who read this and know about it, the more the school and the school board will get off their butts and do something about this.

      Thanks for reading.

      • Yes I was there and yes your son, from which I recall said “then fuck you coach”. I can understand you “taking up” for your teenage boy, I guess. But your son has said tons of things that haven’t been said or written about in this blog. Your son is not a perfect child by no means. You need to get your information correct before you call me out for “false information”

      • I have heard that he said things like that after he got into the locker room and, let me make this quite clear – I DON’T CARE. I would have been just as upset as he was and I probably would have said things I didn’t mean either. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve cussed behind their backs and I can just about guarantee you’ve done the same. He had the right to be upset, and he DID NOT direct it AT the coach. Luckily, he has great friends like you to report what he said in anger. God forbid a teenager cuss in a locker room after his coach just told him he’s no good. I’m sure that has NEVER happened before.

        And thanks for another “anonymous” post, sweetheart. By the way, your email clearly says you’re female and who you are. Silly.

      • Well god forbid a coach cuss at a varsity league player. Your point is invalid. You keep chasing your tail in a circle. It’s very time consuming and pointless.

      • Excuse me? Coach didn’t cuss him and I never said he did. He told him everyone was else was better than him and then the people in authority totally abused their authority by handling this in the corrupt way that they handle everything. That’s what this is about. It’s consuming no one’s time except the people involved who NEED to spend a little time on it. If anyone else is involved it is because they have chosen to be. Including you.

  32. My own personal gain? Pray tell what it is that I’m gaining from this? Other than making sure that this corrupt authority does not affect other child like it has affected mine? It’s time people took a stand. And if you’ll kindly read through the comments, your good ole boy doesn’t seem to be as squeaky clean as you’d like to think…former students will attest to that. This, however, is not about bashing someone’s character. It’s about ONE incident that needs to be addressed and made sure that it is not repeated.

  33. Who is to protect the student from the administration and staff bullying him? This student had no advocate there, it was denied him. Ganging up on a child is NOTHING to be proud of. In the same situation I would have been irate, also.

  34. Man….we live in an age where everyone gets a trophy and everyone deserves a pat on the back. At least the coach was honest with him and told him that others were “just better”. I am sure that is a hard pill to swallow and hurt his pride but if it’s the truth then it’s the truth. High school sports does not require equal playing time and lots of kids don’t get to play as much as themselves or their parents think they should. It’s life! Just because you want something in life doesn’t mean you are entitled to it. Plus these poor coaches get paid crap for hundreds of hours of work and dealing with parents. I used to coach jv basketball and volleyball and I always wished we could just let the kids play in an empty gym with no parents to mess it all up. If your son quit then that is his choice….so it really should ended there. You seemed to make it worse when you tried to railroad him right after a game…you should have given yourself time to sleep on it and calm down and all of
    This crap could have been avoided in my opinion. I have three kids and I know issues like this will come up….I just know I would handle it different.

      • Never said I was perfect I make tons of mistakes but I know how high school sports operates and I have been the one having to talk to irate parents who think their children are better than everyone and deserve to play. I have also let the children of said parents cry on my shoulder because they were embarrassed by their parents behavior. I was also on a basketball team where those younger but better than me played over me. I stayed for the love of the game and for friends. I would just handle the situation differently having been on the receiving end of parents who wanted nothing but the best for their child but whom may not have handled it as well as they would have liked. I swore to myself even before having my own kids that I would never go there….anyway good luck in your fight.

  35. Melissa,
    I’m originally from that area and want to give you some sound advice. I’m not going to go through a long list of qualifying statements explaining my experiences in that area in an attempt to assure you that I know of which I speak. You’ll have to just trust me.

    You will not win this.

    You’re absolutely right in your assessment of “small town politics.” So I’m sure you’re aware of how deep those roots can go. Those who have control keep it and they are very happy to be “big fish in a little pond.” It’s one reason why there is a severe lack of industry in that region anymore.

    What is most likely to transpire is that your son will continue to be the talk of the school and your pushing will result in nothing but furthering of you being ignored. The authority and lots of the citizenry have so little that they’ll choose their own best interests over protecting a child. I. Know.

    My best advice to you in this matter, if you want advice, is to circle the wagons around your family and teach your son that this is NOT how the rest of the world behaves. Teach him that the example of adults who choose to isolate a child and ignoring the adults in the family is not how he, as a man, is to behave. And get out of there.

    It was the best, most freeing thing I ever did…moving away.


    • I am fully aware that there will be no “win” here. At this point, I’m not even sure what a win is anymore. Even if I caused some tiny little bit of awareness, I think that’s all I could have done. Thank you for your advice. It will be heeded, I assure you.

      • From your care and concern in the letter and responses to the comments, I gather that you’re a loving mother. Your son is very fortunate to have a mother who will go to bat for her child. Unfortunately in that region, it’s a trait that tends to be lacking because of the small town politics.

        A doctors child will be first string no matter what level their skill set. A city council persons child will always receive better grades. And only a few will know about the coaches post-season picnic.

        Some things never change. That’s the primer that’s both loathed and adored in that area.

        They’re fully aware of how things work but for lack of resources and name sake, are powerless to change the status quo. Names mean a lot in the twin counties and dollars mean even more. It’s a place where “thousandaires” can be rulers. And anyone who bucks the norm are shunned, regardless of age.

        I’m very sorry that your family had to learn that in this manner.

      • My kids’ father grew up in this area so, sadly, he was already aware of how it all works. As for me, I’m getting a quick lesson the hard way, that’s for sure. But I hope my kids (and others) will walk away from this knowing how wrong the politics are in this town and will go on in their lives to bigger and better places and rise above their circumstances. I think this whole situation has helped quite a lot of kids to see that they are not alone in their feelings … it has happened to way more kids than it should have, all because they didn’t have the right last name.

    • In response to not being able to change the good old boys club, you have one choice. VOTE. Every election. For the persons not in the club. In small communities , one or two votes is all it takes.

  36. I think the coach does owe you and your son a meeting to explain what had happened- I think we put to many coaches on “high pedestals ” and they take advantage of it- Even if you have to notify the local paper I would do it- It sounds like politics to me and that coach should not be a coach if he spoke to your child like that- It would have been okay if he said , “____ can we talk about this tomorrow, I where we an sit down and talk.” Not say to your son your not as good WHAT is that Talking about a 16 year old crying, last night this is what happened after a football pasta dinner at our school- I began the crying first I could not hold back. my 11 year old daughter did too and hugged him and prayed with him–
    My son was starting for 2 weeks.On Wednesday before the game the coaches went out of their way to tell him how good he was doing and how they can always count on him. The 2nd string kid even joked with my son after and said “Hey man you deserve this , you and I worked hard in the winter and you got the position) Thursday, the BIG PreGame day the 2nd string kid told my son he would be starting , My son thought he was joking and went out on the field along with the other kid — One of the players screamed over in front of all the kids and said “coach who is starting” The coach screamed back and said the other boys name
    Why didn’t the coach have the courtesy to tell my son like he told the other kid-
    My son is not mad about the spot- he is crushed about the coach not having enough respect for him to pull him aside – my son is at practice, gets good grades and gives his heart and soul to the team-
    Don’t worry I think there is a reason for everything just have faith

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