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posted: 7/23/2012 5:00 AM

How you play, not whether you win, is what counts

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On July 12, 2012 the Board of Education for High School District 214 voted unanimously to implement a Coach/Adviser Code of Conduct, similar to what students must sign before participating in any extracurricular activity. The public was invited to speak after school board business.

The Student Code of Conduct for District 214 states that participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege, and students participating are held to a higher level of accountability. These students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will bring credit and honor to themselves, their team/activity, their school and the district.

Types of prohibited conduct include flagrant or persistent disrespect, or deliberate attempts to antagonize, harass, bully, haze and/or intimidate others.

Currently there is huge pressure from many parents on coaches, advisers and principals, who want their child's activity to be successful and they want their child to participate all the time. We all like to win, but wins should be the result of why most teachers, coaches and advisers entered the education business -- to be a positive influence in the lives of students.

Humiliating and disrespectful language and behavior, whether one-time or repetitive, should not have a place in any school sports and activities. Is this about profanity? No. And for the record, there should be a Parent Code of Conduct as well.

It may be naive to believe that small actions can make a difference and that honor, respect and privilege are not just words on paper. Students in extracurricular activities spend a lot of time with coaches and advisers -- they look up to these mentors.

For everyone involved, we need to remember some words that we all learned a long time ago: It's not about the win, but how the game was played. Make it count.

Judy Collins

Arlington Heights

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