Parental outrage over their daughters’ white basketball coach telling the team not to “act black” like the rival team, whom she called “ghetto,” resulted in the coach being suspended — but not for a whole week.
I don’t care what you think about what I am about to say, but you better not go out there and act black like the ghetto girls at Pierre Moran.
According to the Washington Post, Vicki Rogers, a teacher and coach for the Elkhart North Side Middle School (Facebook), was suspended Jan. 22 for the comments made before their Jan. 15th game. Rogers later apologized “tearfully” to her team during a practice for the utterly inappropriate and racially charged comment. That apology, of course, did not save her from the consequences of her actions.
Consequences that some of the parents, and many others, just don’t think are enough.
Mothers who spoke to the Elkhart Truth did so anonymously, fearing repercussions to their children for speaking out:
There are at least 50 other words she could have used to describe an unruly girl, not one of those words happens to be ‘black,’ and that’s because I don’t think in those terms. For this coach to use that word, it really tells me how she feels about race.
Another mother stated:
I don’t want my daughter to feel like the color of her skin is something she needs to hide so she doesn’t come across as ‘ghetto,’ that whole idea that the coach put in my daughter’s head is something I can never take back out. She has never identified as ignorant or not well-behaved because she is black.
Rogers is inexplicably still teaching classes. Even after what she said to these young women, equating skin color and behavior in a way that made it obvious she doesn’t think that “black” means well-behaved. Even before finishing the sensitivity training her suspension requires. Not only that but, according to Principal Sara Jackowiak, she is prohibited from having contact with players, parents, and attending games or practices. But teaching them seems A-O.K. to the school.
The school polled the team, and 18 girls indicated they wanted the coach to return while one put a question mark and another voted “no.”
Imagine the horror these mothers felt when they found out that their daughters had voted “yes” only to avoid bullying or being targetted by the other students if they voted “no.”
My daughter was taught to stand up for what’s right. She was taught that bullying is not right. I spent 13 years molding this girl to be a leader, not a follower. To take pride in herself, to be an overachiever, to not be a wallflower. But now she says ‘yes,’ she wants the coach back, just because she doesn’t want them to think bad of her. I can’t go back and undo what they’ve done.
Coach Rogers may return as soon as she finishes her “sensitivity training,” arranged by the Human Relations Commission.
This seems far too soon for the damage done by this unapologetic comment for these parents. It also seems to clearly violate the standards a coach must adhere to, which read in part:
- “The coaches shall consistently uphold the honor and dignity of the profession. In all personal contact, the coaches must set an example of high ethical and moral conduct.”
- “The coaches shall direct their athletic programs in harmony with the total school educational program.”
- “Athletes shall be treated with dignity. Coaches shall not use profanity, touch athletes in a negative manner, or make demeaning criticisms to athletes.”
These parents want Coach Rogers fired, what do you think?
Featured image via DailyMail