School Districts everywhere have cracked down on bullying, some going as far as to dedicate an entire day to the epidemic, complete with lessons and exercises for students, and most schools require training for faculty and staff on how to deal with the issue.
Well, Todd Kennedy, a volunteer football coach of Durham Middlefield’s (CT) youth football team comprised of 4th through 6th graders, including two of his sons, was dismissed after disciplining a kid for repeated incidents of bullying, according to the New York Daily News.
First, Kennedy warned the entire team that bullying would not be allowed, and then after hearing that the kid started was picking on a teammate at school (not on the field under his supervision) Kennedy sent the bully off to run a few laps around the field. After the kid was done, Kennedy reportedly commended him for being compliant without raising a fuss.
The youth football board decided that Kennedy’s actions required some special attention, and decided to suspend him from his volunteer post.
“They said, “Well why did you feel you were qualified to handle this bullying incident?’ I’m like, “Well, because I’m a father.”
Coach Kennedy, not happy with the message that was being sent, decided to remove his two kids from the team. Other parents have done the same, noting that the wrong message is being sent.
What do you think? As a youth coach was Kennedy overstepping his bounds by punishing a kid for something that happened off the field during school? Would you support a local high school coach for doing the same?
Last year, a strength and conditioning assistant at Tulane was fired for using running as a disciplinary measure, and that’s another conversation entirely.
Head here to read the full story on coach Kennedy, which includes some input from upset parents that take his side.