Letter: Leave discipline to Yarmouth parents

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I agree with Michael Waxman’s column on Yarmouth’s Athletic Code on one account: our athletes (our children) should not have to sign a code. It is the parents’ responsibility to teach our kids right from wrong and to discipline. It is the schools’ responsibility to teach academics, and to prepare our kids for their futures. The code was intended to keep our kids in line, but the school has violated a family boundary by requiring that students sign the code.

“No student shall be involved in any act or activity that might embarrass the community, school, team, coach, or himself/herself. For violation of this rule, the coach and school administration will determine the appropriate disposition on a case-by-case basis.” Who defines what is embarrassing? Do we want this defined within a family, or interpreted by a school?

The common perception among parents and students is that the Yarmouth school system enforces the code when it is to their advantage; the code is not enforced when an important game is at stake. Maybe the school doesn’t enforce the code because of pressure from the parents to win at any cost. Most of the students think the code is a joke. What lesson are we teaching our kids? That it is acceptable to sign a contract and then break it at our convenience, without repercussion?

My boys aren’t afraid of what the school will do to them if they are caught drinking; they know I will be harder on them. Leave discipline to parents.

John Gerken