To Set the Record Straight

editorial-logo3As adults, we tell children to own up to their mistakes, learn from them and then move on. It is really good advice. Should we, as adults and especially adults that oversee children, not model that behavior. Last week, during a County Commission meeting, the Director of the Boys and Girls Club was addressing the County Commission. She was giving her run down of the wonderful things that are going on at the Boys and Girls Club when she was asked a question by Commissioner Dockery. He inquired as to the status of the situation between the Girls and Boys Club and the JCHS Girls’ Soccer Team. For those that missed the coverage this fall, the Girl’s team was leasing space from the Boys and Girls Club but was denied access to the restroom facilities and the building during inclement weather. This resulted in the team changing clothes in the parking lot and using the restroom in the tree line around the field. It also left them, literally, out in the storm no matter how bad the weather.

There was quite a bit of back and forth at the time this information came to light and, ultimately, the school system brought in one temporary restroom and made some adjustments in schedules to help with clothing changes. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t equitable. But, it wasn’t complete exposure either. The Boys and Girls Club took a hit on the publicity chin because they came across as selfish and unbending but eventually the tone softened, though the reality is that not much changed with the way the team was treated by the Boys and Girls Club. Now the DOE has stepped up and answered the needs and all is well that ends well. Or it should have been- except that the Director of the Boys and Girls Club refused to acknowledge the situation had ever existed. I understand that it is unhandy to look ungenerous toward Jefferson County students when you are requesting funding for your organization and that funding comes from all Jefferson County tax payers. So, why not own up to the mistake and assure the powers that be that lesson was learned. Something along the lines of a thoughtless act but not a malicious one would have sufficed. Instead, to insist that there was never any problem is tantamount to the L word and that is simply unacceptable. Everyone knows there was a problem. I know there was a problem because I spoke to the Director directly about the issue and she was very, very concerned about her Board and the County Commission’s take on the issue. Yet, her parting shot at the recent County Commission meeting was that they need to leave their muddy cleats outside and put on appropriate clothing.

These are athletes, not teen models. They have on practice gear not bathing suits. There is nothing unacceptable going on with the team of students. They are children, too. They are our children just like the kids at the Boys and Girls Club are our children. Temporary amnesia aside, It should be a fun budget season. When half truths start, it makes everyone wonder just how far they extend and at what cost. The situation was all but over. Pride really does go before the fall.

Source: Kristin Depew