Soon parents of children in the Pine-Richland school district may be limited in their ability to coach a sports team for the school district.
The Student Services Committee discussed a new motion at their Sept. 9 meeting that would restrict parents of students from becoming coaches in the name of "fairness and equality."
"It doesn't eliminate nepotism," said school director Therese Dawson during the meeting. "If it doesn't eliminate it, it needs to be more severe or not exist at all. I agree with the notion, I just don't think it rises to the level of enforcement the way that it should."
The proposal states that "the District will not permit a parent or legal guardian of a student athlete to serve as a paid District coach, in any capacity at the middle or high school level, for a sport in which their child participates at the same level."
There are exceptions to this rule, which are applicable if the parent is an employee of the district, the parent is employed as a coach four years prior to coaching their child, the parent has three years of service as a paid secondary school, college, or professional coach, or the parent is the only or most qualified applicant.
School director Katie Shogan thinks that the exceptions might be overkill.
"There are enough exceptions that you can pretty much get yourself in the door if you wanted to," said Shogan. "At the same time, there's not one of those that I thought wasn't reasonable."
"If we're concerned about parents using power and leverage, if we're worried about that, then we only really need [exceptions] one and two," said school director Marc Casciani during the meeting.
Dawson defended the policy but was an advocate of rewording the conditions to make them less measured and eliminate the holes in the criteria.
Generally, the committee agreed that while the policy needs some work before it is approved, it is a good starting point.
"I like the idea of the policy in general because I think it raises awareness and it also provides some structure," Shogan said. "I would not want to not have an excellent coach because we made a really strict policy."
Superintendent Brian Miller echoed these sentiments.
"Ultimately, we want to have the most qualified, best adult in front of children whenever we can," he said. "I would not want a policy to be so tight that we can't hire the best person for the job."
Do you think a parent coaching their child poses a problem? Let us know in the comment section below.