This may be one of the more adult measures I have witnessed by someone in authority in some time. It is worth sharing as we must always strive to treat others the way we want to be treated. Matt Labrum, the football coach for Union High in Utah, took a profound step to suspend his entire football team after witnessing and learning of poor behavior to others and an overall lack of accountability. With the support of his fellow coaches and, eventually the parents, he kicked everyone off the team and told them later how they could earn their way back.
The final straw that precipitated the action was some cyberbullying of a fellow student that was strongly believed to have been fueled or done by members of the team. Yet, before then, he had observed or been told of football players skipping class, showing disrespect to teachers and not being accountable to teammates. More on the subject can be gleaned by clicking on the attached link to Deseret News: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865587020/Taking-a-stand-Union-High-coach-suspends-entire-football-team-in-lesson-about-character.html?pg=all
The kids were devastated, but understood the message. We cannot tolerate poor behavior to others and you are responsible and accountable. Character is more than a word, it is something you earn by doing right by others. The team was told what they needed to do to earn their way back onto the team: community service, write an essay, and do day-in and day-out what we all should do – treat others like we want to be treated. The impact on these young men will carry with them the rest of their lives. Being a man is much more than being physically gifted. In fact, being physically gifted has nothing to do with being a man. It is being responsible and accountable. Per the line from “Rob Roy,” one of my favorite movies, “Your honor is a gift you give yourself.”
What is also terrific about Coach Labrum’s actions is the echo effect it will have on others in the school and who are aware of this story. They will say to themselves, if it can happen to them, it can happen to me. So, please help me share this story by telling others about someone who is of the finest character – Matt Labrum and his fellow coaches. Well done.