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Monica J. Stich, Fargo, Published February 10 2014

Letter: Shanley ignores its own policies

‘Shanley baseball coach of 14 years says contract not renewed due to complaint about text message” (Feb 6). What I find frightening about this is how much power Shanley gave one parent.

According to Shanley’s website, they have about 330 students (grades 9-12), representing a possible 660 parents. One parent essentially was given the power to speak (and Shanley act) on behalf of the other 989 people. That’s a lot of power.

It was stated that the parent found the text message “threatening in tone and wording.” Having read the text message, I do not see a threat. Coach Joel Swanson expected his players to practice, to put in gym time and to prepare to defend their title. If not, the consequence could be that younger, more enthusiastic, harder-working boys may fill the team’s positions (is this the threat?). Had the coach been in the locker room, yelling the very same words at his players, would a complaint have been made? I doubt it. It would have been seen as a pep talk in order to challenge them.

On Shanley’s website, under Resolution of Ordinary Differences within the School Community, one will find the statement:

“… the following general guidelines shall be followed:

“In any conflict, an effort shall first be made to resolve the issue in a spirit of fairness and justice by following the ordinary and regular communication channels between the people involved.

“If the conflict cannot be resolved following steps one and two above, then …. employee may have recourse to the superintendent who will initiate discussion between the parties and attempt to bring about a peaceful resolution (www.jp2schools.org/central-office/jpii-catholic-schools-council).”

Sounds like a reasonable plan. Too bad it wasn’t followed.