Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wrestling coaches resign (from coaching)

Remember the scandal at Crystal Lake's Prairie Ridge High School, when a bunch of wrestlers grabbed other wrestlers, held them down, "slapped" their stomachs and, reportedly, touched their "private parts"?

Cal Skinner's carried an article yesterday about this, and I commented on his article, wondering aloud whether the coaches had resigned completely or only from their coaching duties.

This morning's Northwest Herald clarified that by reporting that two wrestling coaches resigned - from their coaching duties.

But let's go back to what happened. As if anyone knows yet, because court cases of the five students charged with "battery" are hidden away behind locked doors in juvenile court.

Are we back in the Puritan Age? "Private" parts? Did students grope other students, touching their genitalia in some way? Let's call it what it is. Weren't the victims molested? Are the five going to sex offenders and be required to register for life?

Or is that too severe? Was it simply (word used cautiously) a matter of battery? You've heard of "assault and battery". Is assault, contrary to popular belief, only where you threaten to do something? Battery is when you do it.

Back to the coaches. First, should they be the fall guys here? Their resignations from the coaching staff were accepted at the March 16 Crystal Lake School District 155 Board meeting "without comment or discussion."

Close. Almost under the radar. But not quite. The questions are still open as to what happened. The public is entitled to know, but probably the school board is hoping the issue will just go away, confident that the juvie court records will not reach the public.

The coaches' decision? Oh, just personal decisions. Personal lives getting busier. More family responsibilities. Both will continue in their employment with D-155. One is an I.T. person; the other is a teacher.

If they didn't know what was taking place, didn't encourage it, didn't condone it, and acted swiftly to stop it and fully report it, why should they be scapegoats and even give up their wrestling jobs (and extra pay)? Did the District coerce them into resigning their coaching jobs? Was a "deal" cut somewhere along the way?

Let's hope not. If the "boys" just ganged up on others and acted "while the cat was away", then why even let the coaches resign their wrestling jobs? Why not thank them for offering and tell them to continue?

What else is going on here? It may not be just smelly clothes in a gym locker!

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