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Ian C. Grande, Fargo, Published February 10 2014

Letter: Firing is a sign parental activism has gone wild

The story about former Shanley baseball coach Joel Swanson highlights one of the few truly sad aspects of today’s athletic landscape. I have been fortunate enough to coach high school athletics over the past six years, and, for the most part, it has been a very positive experience. Unfortunately, there is one area that I have grown increasingly concerned with, and that is parental activism.

Growing up, our teams were blessed with coaches who demanded hard work and personal discipline. When I had an issue with playing time or any other issue, my parents and coaches both expected me to handle that situation with the coaches themselves. They both understood that this would foster the personal growth needed to prepare me for the adverse situations I would be forced to deal with when I graduated.

Sadly, we now have parents resorting to strong-arm tactics with administration to oust coaches, and, for some inexplicable reason, they are having success. This latest instance is just one of many that I have seen or heard about during my time coaching, and yet another clear victory for over-zealous and power-starved parents.

Parents, it’s OK to let your son or daughter feel the agony of defeat. It’s OK for them to feel what it’s like to be in a supportive role on a team. This is preparation for the real world. Show a little faith that they can handle it; they won’t let you down.