Acknowledging that inappropriate fan behavior has become more of a problem, the Monticello school district has drafted a more detailed athletic communications document that, if approved this week, parents need to read before their children can compete in school sports.
“This was in response to some general, overall concern that the administration expressed about how some parents deal with our coaches, and how some parents may disagree with some coaches decision, and how they want to discuss those things, and when and where that should happen,” School Superintendent Vic Zimmerman told the school board on June 19.
Since school registration is now online, parents would need to acknowledge they have read the document, which is the same procedure for other paperwork including insurance waivers.
The board discussed the compact, and is expected to formally vote on it July 17.
Zimmerman said there were two instances of fan behavior that resulted in discipline this past school year. In those cases they were not allowed to attend a future school contest.
Extracurricular code conduct is already outlined in the school handbooks, but the “Athletic Communication” compact goes into further detail and includes an entry on social networks.
It also goes both ways, spelling out what parents and athletes should expect from their coaches, including expectations, location and times of all practices and games, team requirements including fees and equipment, and explanation of discipline taken that results in an athlete not being able to take part in a game or tournament.
Under the agreement, parents and students are expected to:
–express concerns directly to the coach;
–notify coaches of scheduling conflicts well in advance; and
–talk to coaches if there are specific concerns about expectations.
The document lists as appropriate concerns to discuss with coaches:
–treatment of students mentally and physically;
–ways to help your child improve; and
–concerns about your child’s behavior.
Listed as issues not appropriate to bring up with coaches:
–team strategy; and
–performance of other student-athletes.
Parents are also urged not to confront coaches before, after, or during a practice or game.
High School Adam Clapp said such rules have been the understanding, but that it was important to get them detailed in writing.
“You can’t expect everyone to follow procedure unless that procedure has been explained,” he said, noting the expectations will be reviewed during meetings with coaches and parents.
Parents and student athletes are also encouraged to be careful on social networks, and that “derogatory comments or implied messages/messages or any other misuse of social media may result in consequences from administration.”
The school board also has a spectator conduct policy that lists unsportsmanlike conduct that includes vulgar language, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fighting, failing to obey instructions of a security officer, possession a weapon, and engaging in “any activity which is illegal or disruptive.”