This from the Abbeville Meridional:
Vermilion Parish coaches are not too impressed with the Vermilion Parish’s School Board’s new policy that bans intentionally embarrassing, humiliating, harassing or denigrating a student, school employee or member of the public.
Two school board members, Anthony Fontana and Charles Campbell, have both gone on record as saying the policy is design ed to stop coaches from saying things that may embarrass or humiliate an athlete.
The Abbeville Meridional surveyed some football and basketball coaches in the Parish to get their opinion on the new policy.
The coaches did not want their names to be used in fear of retaliation by the School Board.
One coach said he has not thought twice about the new policy because it is “a joke and it is something we as coaches actually laughed about.”
“I think it is similar to a lot of policies being put in place these days to let politicians look good, like they really care because they made this policy,” said a coach. “They know in reality the first time they try to enforce the policy, it will be challenged. How can you define what is belittling to me? It (policy) is pointless to me.”
Another coach thought the policy was geared toward him. He said enforcing the policy was going to be hard because what might be the correct definition of intentionally embarrassing someone. “If I beat a parish team 60 to nothing, did I just embarrass the kids and coaches? Will I be punished for it?”
This new rule by the Vermilion Parish school board doesn’t just apply to football coaches – board member Charles Campbell says he’s going to try to enforce it against members of the school board, too. And this comes following fireworks over homecoming parades in Vermilion earlier this fall, where for liability reasons the school board fiddled with nuking a previous policy of having those parades during school hours go as to give the kids and parents the easiest opportunity to attend.
Not to pick on Vermilion Parish, mind you – Vermilion ranks slightly above average among Louisiana’s public school systems (though with a graduation rate of only 67.5 percent that in and of itself is a frightening fact). But every week the newspapers are full of stories like these from school boards, where entry-level politicians spend their time harrassing parents, teachers and school kids with endless rules and policies aimed at placating pressure groups and political constituencies which have little to do with education.
The Meridional story about the “be nice” policy also returned this quote, which is right on the money:
“This policy is typical micro-managing by politicians,” added a coach. “It is not going to change my way of coaching. If they do not like the way I coach, then I can go coach in another Parish.”
So what does Campbell, the micro-managing politician in question, have to say about the board’s creation?
School Board member Charles Campbell spoke to the Abbeville Kiwanis Club on Tuesday about the School Board’s new policy. He explained to the Kiwanis members that the School Board will have a hard time enforcing the policy and each case will be looked at individually.
Does he like the new policy?
“It is a good policy because it tells people we need to learn how to respect one another,” Campbell said. “That is the point.”
This hardly needs to be said, but if you need your school board to teach you how to respect your fellow man you are in a whole lot of trouble.
The obvious solution to stupidity like this is to vote out petty tyrants like Campbell, whose bio indicates he’s been on the Vermilion School Board for 15 years. But the problem is, generally speaking the only people interested in running for the school board are the very busybodies and tin-pot totalitarians who already populate those positions in the first place – so if you throw the bums out, you likely end up merely changing out the forms of tyranny and idiocy you get.
Market forces are the only thing which will eliminate all of the stupid rules and regulations and minor political controversies our school boards inflict on us. They’re also the only thing guaranteed to create the competition, innovation and excellence that will wipe away Louisiana’s debilitating educational failure.
On the other hand, a free-market educational system can’t guarantee that all the football coaches will be nice to their players all the time. We all have trade-offs in life.