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posted: 8/18/2014 5:01 AM

Dist. 87 flap about taking responsibility

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As a retired high school principal, I know from firsthand experience the difficulty developing and then administering an athletic/activity code that attempts to hold students involved in extracurricular activities accountable for their behavior.

From reading the articles about the situation at Glenbard West, I recognized arguments which have been presented by those who have disagreed with the application of the code as ones I have heard before. The argument that if a number of party goers were able to escape the police, then those caught should not be punished is familiar. I answer this argument with a question: Does the fact that many of those who speed are not caught make a legitimate ticket for speeding invalid? Another argument made in the articles is that those who choose not to drink can be a better influence if they can attend these kinds of parties without the fear of consequence. My answer is that these students can lead best by not attending and finding safe, healthy alternatives.

I applaud the courage of the young lady as noted in the article of Aug. 12 who called certain teammates on the volleyball team to task for the poor choices they made and for her statements upholding the importance of Glenbard West athletes abiding by the code. I applaud the positions taken by Principal Peter Monaghan and Superintendent David Larson in supporting their staff for upholding the code.

And to those parents who are attempting to have the decisions regarding their students overturned by the board of education, you might serve your children best by helping them understand the importance of accepting accountability for their decisions. In the long run, this lesson is more important than whether, in the short run, they are able to participate in spots or activities.

Tom Paulsen


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