Blanco County News
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Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 • Posted November 1, 2013

I know that coaches have traditionally been “sergeants:”: gruff, demanding, moody, and beloved for this because everyone thinks that is what wins wars and games. But times have changed. We now wear seatbelts in cars, don’t drive our pickups down the road with a beer can in our hands and teenagers with hair flying in the back of the bed. We wear helmets while riding bikes and no longer “break” horses, but “gentle” them. Yet we still think it is all right and more effective to intimidate and bully our children instead of teaching them as leaders and mentors.

This was apparent during the most recent school meeting, October 14. District Attorney, PAUL HUNN, stood up, walked dramatically and said loudly that he was there to make it clear that “this school is going to be run by adults, not students.” His behavior and body language were unacceptable; I considered it an attack on the children and, specifically, on my son Joaquin, who spoke on behalf of all students, with such a great heart hurting for his friends and Blanco students’ families, some of whom have gone to other schools or moved out of the county. Everybody witnessed the lawyer’s display -- veterans, principals, Director of Technology, general public, and news reporter.

Maybe the members of the school board were taken aback, but they made no further statement after this.

By the way, who is the school for? Granted, students lack the wisdom to run it, but we must not lose perspective. The purpose of school is not to win glory for adults and principals for being good business administrators and coaches of winning teams, nor to perpetuate outdated attitudes, but to prepare our country’s future parents and leaders. Why does a lawyer see himself as a defender of the school board and staff against the students as adversaries?

Joaquin voices out to be crushed by the District Attorney, then redeemed by school board member San Miguel who accepted to hear him outside the meeting in a public restaurant to only have a coach attempt to intimidate him again when showing up at the same place.

What kind of message are we sending to our children and community?

Why are children (students) and our elderly (veterans) being picked on or singled out?

In this same vein, I strongly disagree with choosing another coach’s wife for the position of high school counselor to replace the late, much beloved, Mrs. Skillman. A coach’s wife is already a counselor in the middle school. This seems to me a conflict of interest. If one of the main problems that students take to a counselor is their problems with the athletic department, how are they going to feel free to express their concerns if the only available counselors are coaches’ wives?

This controversy has already reached outside the school to our neighborhood, where someone associated with the coaches and school and who belongs to the same church that openly supports a coach has threatened our family. This shows that if this problem is not resolved by those in in a position to do so, it will just get worse. Someone has to establish principles and priorities right now.

Maria Barraco

Blanco, Texas 78606

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