In the June School Board meeting, a policy was presented for approval regarding appropriate measures to take against students and parents bullying coaches and other athletes on social media.
After several months and revisions, the policy now states that any person can be banned from high school events if they attack the programs in any way that hurts the programs for the students. Community members, along with parents and students, won’t be allowed at high school events if they harass coaches or athletes in any form, not just on social media.
While the administration reserves the right to ban those who violate the policy in place, they do realize people are protected by the first amendment.
“The people in the community have freedom of speech. They can do and say whatever they want, but they can’t necessarily do and say that on the school grounds,” said superintendent Dr. Samuel Ray.
Another policy in place to protect coaches and athletes is the 24-Hour Rule, which states that “parents/guardians are not allowed to confront a coach, team or league official to discuss any negative game or practice situation with the coaching and management staff until at least 24 hours has passed from the completion of the game or practice”.
While the School Board and the high school administration want everybody to attend the events and don’t want to have to ban anyone, both of these policies are set up to encourage people to handle their frustrations in the proper way.
“If there are problems we deal with them appropriately,” said Ray. “That would be to go to the principal, go to the coach, to have discussions in private about the problem. Not air your dirty laundry out into the public.”
Though this policy may be new to NS, it has been instituted in other schools and the idea has been around for even longer.
“This is kind of an extension of the Utah High School Athletic Association’s sportsmanship rules,” said Ray. “Those basically say we cheer for our team. We don’t cheer against the other team, and we do everything we can to help our team be successful.”