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Letter: A teachable moment in lawsuit situation

To the editor,

Sometimes it is difficult to be a parent, and sometimes it can be difficult being a coach. There is so much to teach young people, and they don't always listen the way we feel they should. We look for those teachable moments in a young person's life that we hope will make them a better, stronger person when they are an adult and face tough issues in the real world.

Coach Chris Orr, Rosemount JV basketball coach, did not start one of his players the first half of a basketball game on Jan. 20. The ninth grader's father states it was in retaliation for not attending basketball practice on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 19. A practice the player, and his father, states they did not notify Coach Orr he would not be attending.

Our children have been in baseball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, dance, football, and wrestling. Every season the coaches begin with parent and student meetings that state the student is responsible for directly communicating to their coach if they will be unable to attend a practice or game. If the student does not there is a penalty (each sport and age level is different -- in high school the penalty increases significantly).

This may be a critical teaching moment in this young man's life. He will either learn the importance of communication and being part of a team, or he will learn to play the role of victim.

The question is which lesson will best serve this young man into the future.

It is important to note if this young man goes on to college sports he will find himself practicing and/or playing games on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every other holiday on the calendar including Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And yes - he will be expected to communicate to his coach if he cannot attend. To achieve his professional goal of being a lawyer the skill of communication will be critical.

If we want good teachers and coaches in our schools it is imperative we not only have them teach our children but we must also allow them to hold our children accountable for their actions. We are preparing them for life. Frivolous lawsuits will only drive good people out of the profession of educating our young people, and we will find ourselves with a generation of young people unable to cope with the ups and downs of the real world and its very real consequences.

Linda Thierry