*If this Wednesday post confused you, well - it confused me too. I was surprised to see that I'd scheduled this to post today instead of my usual Thursday. Must've been on autopilot. Glad you're here - you're not late. I was early.
1. Transfer. I told Coach that if Reg wants to transfer to the local Catholic high school where his cousins go for his senior year, I'm not gonna stop him. Not the far-away all boys' school that we prefer, so I don't think he'd need a waiver to play there.
The coach at that school has a son on Reg's AU team and I'm not really impressed with this guy. My nephew, Alan, Reg's best bud -made the basketball team there, but that coach was horrible to him. Alan has asthma. Essentially the guy told him that kids with asthma can't play basketball. Um, come again? Both of my brothers played basketball at ND and Pat is a severe asthmatic. My brother, Mike (Alan's dad), sat behind the bench to get a feel for how this guy coaches and he was disturbed. The coach was not encouraging. A screamer. Mike has coached travel ball. He coached Reg one year. He's a level-headed, guy. I don't think Reg will go this route.
2. Sit down with the athletic director and explain what has gone on. This is the most logical, direct route, but also the most risky. It doesn't feel like an option. The athletic director is buddies with Ego. Note that there was no interview process when he hired Ego. I don't trust that he can handle our concerns in a professional fashion.
3. Safety in numbers. Gather up other upset parents and make a case. (Parents of a sophomore named 'Anthony', a starter, want Ego gone. Their son pukes before all of the games now. A new development). This is a challenge because no one wants their kid to deal with Ego's repercussions in the classroom. Plus, if the ousting doesn't happen and he still gets to coach - it could be ugly.
A kid named Jay is a sophomore. He starts. He's very good, but not as big as Reg. He is a great 3-point shooter, but he's had games when he misses 8 threes, or 3 or 4. It happens. Does Ego tell Jay to stop shooting? No, he does not. He's also not as effective under the basket, because he doesn't have a lot of bulk to him. Ego made Jay a team captain along with a senior - sort of a slap in the face to Reg, who started every game last year and is the only returning all-conference player. The other one graduated. I don't think it had much to do with leadership, since this quiet sophomore is not exactly a team leader.
At any rate, Jay's parents don't see Ego's issues. Ego doesn't mistreat Jay, he designs plays so that Jay can shoot and then tells Reg: WE'VE GOT TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET YOU TO SCORE MORE. Finally, there are a number of kids on the team whose parents aren't involved/don't attend games, etc.
*editing to add: Ego did tell Jay in Sat. night's game to stop shooting. Hmm. The plot thickens.
4. Ask the AD to get feedback from the kids on the team, since I now realize that many of them recognize the nonsense. The seniors might not care. Ego is pretty popular with the student body. He's off-color in the classroom, inappropriate even - so high school boys often think he's funny.
5. Ask the principal to replace the coach, or to step in. We got a new principal this year. He's not receptive. Unapproachable and has a weird agenda. He opened the school year with an assembly and launched into a description of how he woke up as a kid to his dad beating his mom. Totally irrelevant in a 'let's have a great school year' address, right? He then talked about how he'd seen some kids not adhering to the dress code. (necklines that were too revealing, etc.). He actually said (and this was quoted in a local online newspaper): I'M NOT A PEDIFILE. DON'T MAKE ME ONE.
What.On.Earth? My sweet, little freshman daughter told me she was shocked, appalled, and disturbed.
6. Reach out to our former principal. The principal, who left our school to go to our cross-town rival district, was nothing short of amazing. It's a stretch, but I've seriously considered reaching out to her. She was engaging, invested, approachable. Her decision to leave honestly played a role in our consideration to leave the school last year. I was hopeful that we'd get a decent replacement, but I've been incredibly disappointed. I'd love to see if she has a creative approach to our situation, but I'm sure she's also very busy.
7. Ask the athletic director at the high school in our split district to plead our case/give us guidance. There are two high schools in our district. The other school's AD is about to retire. He's well liked and seasoned. The issue with this option is that it would be almost impossible for him to explain what has gone on without making it clear that we are the family most upset - but there are other frustrated families and maybe they'd be more comfortable speaking up if anonymity was an option. Also, he might just be a good source of YOUR BEST BET IS TO . . .
8. Reg's guidance counselor. I already reached out to the guidance counselor to see if she had any suggestions after the day when I feared Reg might have a seizure. She knows me well and gets that I'm not a nut job. Well, mostly anyway. She listened and was very apologetic. She looked into it, but ultimately said I'd have to go through the AD. She also suggested that I contact the chair of the history department to address the classroom issues. I do have Reg's tale and twin 'C's as well. I trust the history chair, because she's a woman and not part of the 'ole boys' network like the AD. Can I get an AMEN?
9. Suck-it-up-buttercup. This is my least favorite option, but I recognize that it might be the route we accept (kicking and screaming). I know we can't control everything, but HEY HIGH SCHOOL, DO YOU WANNA REIMBURSE US FOR THE PSYCH BILLS? Untie my hands, damn it.
Anthony (the kid who pukes before games) - his mom texted me this week: I JUST DON'T THINK IT'S A WINNABLE BATTLE. That put me in a bad mood all day.
As a kid, I was often told to stop being dramatic when I claimed things weren't fair (um, they weren't), or I was glossed over, or Pat's antics targeting me were treated as entertainment vs mean spirited bull shit.
In other words, I don't like to feel like I don't have a voice. Been there, done that. Reg might not be perfect, but when it comes to basketball he's committed, hard working, and driven. He's a team player.
Please tell me what you think we should do, if anything. Or do you have a more creative solution? Please share. Thanks for hanging in to hear the whole story. Much appreciated.