Dad Calls Out Bullying Culture at Valley Middle School
A Valley Middle School Dad is fed up with what he sees as dangerous coaching practices at Valley Middle School and has decided to go public with his pleas for change.
Mark Smith, whose 12-year-old son played both football and basketball at Valley, says he tried taking his concerns to the coaching staff and to the Valley School Board. He says a school board member told him he’d get back to him after a meeting last week, but he was never contacted.
The root of his concern is a coach of the Valley Middle School football and basketball team. Smith says the coach is verbally abusive to his players. Kids are routinely cursed at and the coach has used terms like “Go—-ned R—rds” to refer to players.
Smith says, “You can’t just be negative, negative, negative … every game.”
He also says basic physical safety was ignored with players not being given the state-mandated water breaks during football practice.
His son was, allegedly, hospitalized for dehydration last fall after a practice and had to receive two bags of IV fluids.
Smith says after bringing a doctor’s note for his son and a copy of state regulations on water breaks, appropriate water breaks were finally implemented.
As a former high school coach himself, Smith says he hates to go public with complaints but he feels he was left with no choice. He fears the bullying culture is destroying the love of sports in children and hurting the sports program on a high school level as many potentially good players are just giving up.
He cites his own son, who recently quit the basketball team. Smith says he doesn’t usually allow his boy to give up, but in this case, he made an exception. He claims that when his son went to turn in his gear and speak to the coach, the coach laughed in his face.
“This is straight-up bullying. If it was a kid to a kid it would fall under the school’s bullying policy”
He says he’s not the only parent with concerns, but most aren’t willing to come forward. “Most parents more than happy to yell in the background from stands, but the majority won’t take action.”
Smith posted his frustrations publically on Facebook Sunday morning and by late Sunday afternoon, he finally heard back from a Valley School Board member who said they are looking into the matter.
Smith said, “At the end of the day you’re trying to mold these children into adults. When you run them down like this, eventually they will turn into the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to mold them into.”
I reached out to Valley Superintendent Scott Rolfe. His response had some very helpful information that you can click here to read.
Photo courtesy of Valley Local Schools Facebook Page
Bullying Valley Middle School