Teaching kids a good lesson

Sometimes you can’t mandate unity.

That much is clear in St. Cloud, where the St. Cloud Times reports on the pushback following discipline against the Apollo High School boys soccer team for unsportsmanlike actions during a game against Willmar. Those included a player removing his shirt, showboating after a goal, and playing music too loud.

The coach of the team, Ganard Orionzi, tried to do what athletic coaches in high school should do: teach kids something important.

“We have been trying to push the notion that this is a team and that the approach is that everything is a team effort,” said Orionzi, who led Apollo’s girls soccer team to the state tournament before taking over the boys’ program this season. “If one or two do something wrong, the whole team is to be punished.

“If one scores a goal or we win, the whole team celebrates. Everything is a team effort and that is the approach we are trying to teach. You win as a team. You go down as a team. You shall do everything as a team.”

He intended to forfeit the season-ending game last night against Alexandria, until he realized it could affect Alexandria’s postseason aspirations.

The Willmar players also reportedly threatened to go into the stands to fight fans. When the game ended, the paper says, nobody shook hands.

Parents are not happy and have reportedly been circulating complaints against the punishment. A commenter suggests that’s part of the problem:

What coaches and administration have done is correct. The behavior of these students does not show pride for themselves, their team-mates, or their school.

I’ve attended some of the sporting events at Apollo (not having a child in any sports), and it is a bit embarassing of how some of these parents act. They are not setting good examples for their children who are on the teams, so it is no wonder the players act as they do. This is not just Apollo parents, but parents from the visiting schools, too.

This is the second news story I’ve read today that references the difficulty of educating the children of parents.

In Wayzata yesterday, eighth-grade teacher Seth Brown won a $25,000 Milken prize for his work with the kids, which includes things like making them stand at desks instead of sitting, and using technology in the classroom.

This was the eye-opening line in the Star Tribune article:

His principal said Brown, the only teacher in the state to win the Milken Educator Award this year, is an innovator and that she talks with him often, if only to find out what he’s going to try before parents start calling.

Which leads to an age-old question: Do kids learn the lessons they should learn in school because of parents, or in spite of them?

  • Eric Chandler

    It’s the parents, period.

    If the parents are good, school experiences will only serve to reinforce what they’re taught at home.

    If the parents suck, if they learn anything at school, it will be in spite of the parents.