As we chronicled on Tuesday, parents of a player whose team was beaten 91-0 in a Texas high school varsity football game filed a complaint with the school district, citing the state law that forbids bullying in school. The parent, whose name has not been released, says his son was subjected to “humiliation” and “torment” during Western Hills High’s 91-0 loss to undefeated Aledo High (located near Forth Worth).
Today the Aledo Independent School District announced that they had investigated the complaint and found no wrongdoing, or evidence of bullying.
The parents’ complaint is one of the most bizarre and creative set of charges in the history of education:
A copy of the complaint obtained by The Associated Press quoted a parent, whose name was redacted by the Aledo school district, who said: “we all witnessed bullying firsthand.”
“Picking up my son from the fieldhouse after the game and taking him home was tough,” the complaint read. “I did not know what to say to my son on the ride home to explain the behavior of the aledo (sic) coaches for not easing up when the game was in hand.”
One section of the complaint asks to list the names of any witnesses to the bullying. Wrote the parent: “everyone in the football stadium.”
Basically the complaint is that Aledo should have eased up, or the game even stopped, when it was clear the score was out of hand. And indeed, the league does have a mercy rule in which the coaches can agree to end the game early. But no one seemed to know about that. Fox Sports:
The University Interscholastic League, the governing body for high school sports in Texas, only has a mercy rule for six-man football that ends a game when one team gets ahead by 45 points by halftime or later. There is no mercy rule for 11-man football, though coaches can agree to end a game early, UIL spokeswoman Kate Hector said. [Aledo coach Tim] Buchanan said he wasn’t aware of that option.
Now he is.
So the larger argument continues: should athletes at the high school level ease up on opponents who are getting the stuffing knocked out of them? It’s “The Sissification of America” people against the “Have Some Perspective, It’s Only a Game” faction, and it’s a worthy debate. All I know is that Texas’ anti-bullying law needs to be rewritten, because, technically, as the law is written, a 91-0 football blowout is bullying:
The Texas Education Agency defines bullying this way: “Bullying occurs when a person is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.
“Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.”
Jaguars vs. 49ers this weekend? Check, check and check. Fortunately all of this does not apply in England, however.