JUST NOW: Is this considered bullying?

 – A Trenton High School coach is accused of bullying and humiliating a student over her basketball skills and many other students report the same type of treatment.

A message reading “Guess who fouled out of the girls basketball game yesterday” was on the overhead projector for the class to see, allegedly from a teacher. Fox 2 Detroit

In a situation like this I would usually say that the student-athlete needs thicker skin. If you can’t handle a PowerPoint slide saying “Guess who fouled out of the girls basketball game yesterday” how do you expect to handle the Bear Den?

That doesn’t change the fact that this coach is an absolute 100% loser for creating a PowerPoint slide to harass the student. And clearly the student didn’t think they had the type of relationship with the teacher that this sort of action was welcomed.

If it was just that message on the PowerPoint slide then we probably wouldn’t be seeing this in the news and I wouldn’t take 20 minutes of my precious time blogging this. But it goes much deeper.

“The high school administration became aware of an issue on Friday and then received additional information over the weekend,” said Superintendent Rodney Wakeham.

The response was social media posts in the hundreds, some citing first hand accounts. One student wrote that she was called a “dirty trash bag that she wants to bury.” Another says they were made to stand in front of the class, and were screamed at when they left.

A “dirty trash bag that she wants to bury.” Yikes. Can’t justify that as good fun or constructive criticism. There is no justification for somebody who is supposed to be a role-model figure to consistently degrade and belittle those they are supposed to be teaching and molding.

Students hate teachers. Athletes hate coaches. That’s just the way the world works and there’s no getting around it. Having a coach that you also have to see in class everyday has to be the second level of hell. You sit there in class nervously thinking you’ll have to run sprints because your friend made a joke while the teacher-coach was telling a story about their “glory days” and pretending they know the secret to life. There needs to be a new rule where student-athletes can’t have their coaches also be their teachers.

I also hate the people saying, “This is ridiculous. The world is going soft.” They’re all losers too. “Teachers and coaches should be able to emotionally abuse students and athletes” is not a hill that you should be willing to die on.

And one former student-athlete says the abuse was so bad she transferred schools.

She said the treatment was so bad they went to the district last year. They said nothing was done to the teacher, but something did happen to Kaelyn.

“What we feared would happen, the retaliation from us speaking up and putting our concerns we feel that that’s what happened. Kaelyn was cut from the team,” her father said.

This is the absolute worst type of coach, teacher and person. The one who seeks retribution. There’s almost always at least one of these teacher-coaches in every school who have been there for years and has total autonomy without supervision.

And the school district as a whole is now implicated in ignoring reports of an abusive coach and teacher.

There was one student who came to the defense of the teacher.

Not everyone thinks the teacher’s tactics cross the line. One student came to the teachers defense saying, “her goal is to push kids beyond their comfort zone.”

I’m not exactly sure how calling a student “a dirty trash bag” is considered “pushing kids beyond their comfort zone,” but feel free to enlighten me. If anything it will make the student unresponsive and retreat further into a comfort zone.

We want to build kids up. Not tear them down. The teacher-coach might just want to resign with whatever dignity they have left.

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