Imagine

Imagine that you are a parent of a college freshman in a state university.

Imagine that your child has had a conflict and is accused of stealing and, because of that alleged theft, is kicked off a varsity team by the coach in front of the entire team.

Imagine how your child would feel about being removed from a team in front of teammates because of being accused of theft.

Imagine that your child turns to you, and you reach out to the university’s coach and athletic director to ask for just treatment of your child.

Then imagine receiving this communication from a university administrator ….

“Roscoe. We have video of your son’s actions and have discussed the Video with our University police. You would be well advised to immediately drop this mater. Forget the actions of our Coach. They are more than substantiated. I do not plan on discussing this any further. If you wish to discuss further you can talk with our Chief of Police. Thank you. Have a nice evening. DF” (the name and initials are mine, not the real ones)

No imagining is necessary. It’s real.

As a former administrator with experience in alleged athlete violations, I know how parents can be in such moments when they think their child is being unjustly treated.

That said, why would an administrator of a state university send such a poorly written, arrogant, and rude email to a parent? The pitiful grammar would be bad enough, but the tone is worse. This athletic director’s email does nothing to help the parent understand the university’s athletic position, and it will only build resentment and distrust on the part of the parent instead of offering edification.

It exemplifies how our democracy can be eroded from within and shows why parents have come to doubt our educational system.

Vitriol seems to abound in the United States. We seem to have lost our ability or willingness to have discourse and listen to the other person’s views. The above letter from an athletic director of a major state university exemplifies such ugliness. We have masked men with weapons “guarding” ballot boxes; a governor in a debate calling his opponent an old donkey; a leader of a major political party ridiculing the speech of a political opponent, the President; and more.

We can do better. We must do better. Our democracy depends on it..

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