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Oh, the humanity!
A Connecticut middle-school football coach wanted to teach one of his players that bullying another player wouldn’t be tolerated, so he made the kid run a few laps around the field.
This was apparently too much for the hand-wringers on the league’s board, so they promptly fired Todd Kennedy from his volunteer position as head coach of the Durham Middlefield Football team.
Kennedy had addressed the bullying issue with the team, made up 4th, 5th, and 6th graders (including two of Kennedy’s sons), but when he heard it happened again he made the alleged perpetrator run a few laps, then even praised the kid for not complaining.
But the board wasn’t happy. “[One of the board members] said why did you feel that you were qualified to handle this bullying incident? I’m like, because I’m a father,” Kennedy told WTNH News 8.
The coach was suspended the next morning, then fired by unanimous board vote on Monday.
“You start questioning yourself, absolutely,” said Kennedy. In fact, he told News 8 that if one of his own kids were behaving in a similar fashion, that’s exactly how he would handle it.
But the way the board handled it? That’s an altogether different matter.
“They never heard from me, so now you’ve got these children that I’ve been coaching since August and all of a sudden their coach just disappears.”
At least one other parent agrees with Kennedy. Shannon Riso, whose son is now off the team along with Kennedy’s two sons, believes the board was wrong.
“Bullying is okay – that’s the message I got,” said Riso. “That’s why my son is not going to play for them. I want him to be around better role models than that.”
Not surprisingly, News 8 has been reaching out to the league’s board members but have yet to hear back from any of them.
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