The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Punishing kids for unruly parents a no-go

Santa Fe board votes against proposal; local ADs against idea


August 2, 2018

On Tuesday night, the Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education considered a policy to suspend or even remove a player from a team if the athlete’s parents display unsportsmanlike conduct during at least three athletic events during the 2018-19 school year.

Santa Fe’s board voted it down.

Don’t count on hearing a similar policy proposed locally. Both Clovis Athletic Director Lonnie Baca and Portales AD Mark Gallegos gave an emphatic no to such an idea.

The SFPS proposal came just weeks after the New Mexico Activities Association changed bylaws to note that, “A school is responsible for the conduct of its team, coaches, students, and fans at any interscholastic event in which the school is participating. The Executive Director may invoke penalties upon a member school for actions which violate the principles of ‘Compete with Class.’”

What that means to schools is still being worked out. Baca felt the SFPS suggestion wasn’t the best way to take that responsibility.

“That’s something we definitely would not consider,” Baca said. “I’m returning from the NMAA Athletic Directors Meeting, and there was an extensive discussion about the (bylaw change).

“That (Santa Fe policy suggestion) was not a popular thing among the athletic directors that were present. Apparently that got started by a school board member, so it had nothing to do with their athletic department. As far as I understand, their athletic director did not support the policy. I don’t ever see that happening in Clovis.”

Gallegos, meanwhile, felt such a policy would unfairly create guilt by association toward the student-athlete.

“I can’t see putting that on the kid,” Gallegos explained. “The kid doesn’t always think the same way as the parents do. Parents are very passionate, but sometimes that passion can be misguided. I can’t see you having a policy like that. If you have a hard and fast policy saying the board’s gonna ban them, I don’t see that being productive. I know the majority of AD’s up here (at Wednesday’s meetings in Albuquerque) were like, ‘You can’t do that; that’s not fair to the kid.’”

Neither Baca nor Gallegos believed the NMAA would be supportive of such a policy.

“I don’t want to speak for the NMAA, but my stance is, probably not,” Baca said. “I don’t think they’d be in favor of doing that. (NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez’) aim is to work with school districts, but also to give school districts an outlet, so it’s not totally put on the district when a situation does occur. My sense is that they’re gonna let us try to deal with the situations as much as possible. If a school doesn’t comply, they can step in and do what needs to be done.”


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