It appears my two articles, Current High School Athletic Codes: Are You Aware They Have Changed? and Teens, Athletes, Parents, and Drinking: What's a Parent To Do?, have come to life in Connecticut where theday.com local news reports on similar issues in their piece, Stonington proposal tightens athlete alcohol, drug policy.
Stonington High School is moving toward an athletic code policy mirroring what we now have in many Chicago area suburban schools, that participating in gatherings where alcohol and drinking are taking place (whether the athlete is involved or not) is in violation and brings with it certain consequences.
The new proposed policy, and discipline, applies year-round and includes photos and videos of student athletes in violation regardless of whether the student athlete is on or off campus.
This is a big departure from their current athletic code which focuses on the use of alcohol or drugs on campus and/or at school-sponsored events.
According to the article, the existing policy "means a student drinking at school dance would be disciplined, but one arrested for driving under the influence or underage drinking on the weekend currently would be immune from discipline."
On the other hand, the new proposed policy specifies: "If Stonington High School athletes are at a party where people are drinking or using illegal drugs, they would have to leave. If not, they could be suspended from their team and subject to other discipline even if they were not drinking or using drugs."
The proposed policy also includes an explanation as to the thought process behind such a change stating "...that participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege and not a right. It adds that negative or inappropriate behavior by students can affect the integrity and perception of teams by other students and the public."
What I find most interesting, something you may also find intriguing, are the variety of points made in the comment section at the end of this article. They span the gamut of thought from one end of the spectrum to the other regarding whether student athletes should be held to a higher standard than others, coaches would support such a policy if they would lose their "star" athlete, the school has any rights to govern behavior outside of the school confines, the captain's team apology for retribution (something I find bewildering), and a host of others.
So what's your take?
Is Stonington headed in the right direction?
Do you think that coaches' hands are tied (as pointed out in this article) when a policy only governs use and/or on-campus violations as Stonington's current policy stands?
What do you think should be done about the rampant hard "partying" many a high school athlete engages in even though they have signed a code stating that they won't?
Chicagoland speak up, give us your thoughts.
All comments welcome!!!