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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Way Richey Elementary basketball run raises alarms

Dear editor,

The way elementary basketball is being handled in our schools today is no different than bullying, which is Illegal in the state of Montana.  When a coach picks five kids to play all the time while the rest sit on the bench it is very hard on children emotionally.  We need to consider what we are doing to our children, we have learned that kids who are bulled in school have increased symptoms of depression and lower self-esteem and increased suicide rates. The only difference between bullying and what is happening in the basketball program is that it is being done by an adult, someone who should know better. We should be teaching kids at this age to play as a team and the fundamentals of basketball.  We should not be trying to show kids that one child is better than another.  If a teacher treated a child like this and said, you are not good at math, so you need to go sit in the corner, would that be acceptable?  I think that before someone becomes a coach they should either be a teacher or must go to some sort of training classes on how to deal with kids.  I know that Montana Special Olympics makes all their coaches go through a training program before they can coach.  Why can’t the schools also do something like this for the coaches they hire if they are not a teacher?  We need to have people that are educated in the way to deal with kids teaching our kids and not someone who thinks they know how to play basketball.  Why does a coach not have to have a collage education?  State law makes teachers have a four-year education but to be a coach you don’t have to have any education.    I think that we need to have a change in the way that we look at sports. Sports should not always be about winning they should be about what is best for the kids.  Especially sense these are school supported activates kids should be treated the same way we expect them to be treated in school.   If the schools in Montana can’t handle how to deal this situation it is going to have to be taken care of through the legislation process.  People need to start standing up for our children and not worry about winning so much.  Ten or twenty years from now no one will remember who won a game but that person will still be dealing with the effects of these degrading practices on them.


Tristan Veverka


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