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ISSUE: Texas ballgame bullying charge
OUR VIEW: Diminishes impact of law
Ninety-one to zero: The final score of a Texas high school football game became a matter of national debate after a parent upset with the outcome tossed out an accusation.
The football coach of Aledo High School now must defend himself against allegations of bullying.
A one-sided sports score is not the kind of schoolhouse intimidation that bullying regulations and laws are set up to address. Yet the nature of the complaint and a zero-tolerance policy regarding bullying forced school officials to spend unnecessary time documenting an investigation.
Even if 91-0 is evidence of a superior team piling on a bit, it does not appear in any sense to be bullying in anyone’s eyes except one parent associated with Fort Worth’s Western Hills High, which lost the game.
It’s not the first time this season the No. 1 ranked Aledo team dominated a game. Coach Tim Buchanan’s squad has outscored opponents by an average of 77 points per game this season. Aledo is the three-time defending state 4A champions of Texas.
If anyone were to have a problem with the 91-0 rout, it would be Western Hills coach John Naylor.
Naylor told the Fort Worth Star Telegram he disagreed with the allegation.
“I think the game was handled fine,” Naylor said. “They’re No. 1 for a reason.”
This complaint is an embarrassment. It makes a mockery of a very serious and the sometimes deadly bullying issue in America’s schools.
Many states have adopted anti-bullying laws to help deal with a serious social issue and to help protect children. To try to apply the law based on the score of a high school football is absurd.
Texas regulations require Aledo’s principal to launch a full investigation and produce a full written report on the complaint.
What exactly did this parent want Buchanan to tell his team to do? The coach pulled his starters and if his second-, third- and fourth-stringers could not be stopped by Western Hills’ varsity, what recourse did he have? Wouldn’t taking a knee for three downs and then punting be far more embarrassing than giving the Western Hills players a chance to compete?
This was not bullying, this was nothing more and nothing less than getting beat badly.
Unfortunately for the son of the Western Hills parent who cried foul, the real loss was in the lesson that could have been learned. Not everyone deserves a trophy. You win some, you lose some.
Educators and administrators have a responsibility to their professions to do everything they can to help prepare children for life after school. Learning how to deal with winning and losing is a big part of that process, and this action undermines everyone associated with Western Hills.
Life isn’t always fair. Teaching kids in school that all things should be pleasant could be part of America’s social problems.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.