Concerned parents of Sauk Prairie

Concerned parents of Sauk Prairie

August 16, 2022
Signatures: 908Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Trina Williams

This comes from the recent obituary of a local teen athlete:

“People be kind because words and actions can hurt. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like someone, you don’t have to make them feel like a disappointment. KIDS BE NICE!! Embrace your teammates even if they aren’t the cool kids or starters of the team. Encourage each other and be there for one another, don’t break each other down.”

This really spoke to many of us parents. Many of the associations and teams in this area have been plagued with toxic behavior amongst teammates (and sometimes coaches). Kids treating other kids as “less than” if they’re not popular enough or good enough. 

Athletes that want to play the sports they love are giving up because it’s not worth it. Or others, refuse to give up but have to deal with the daily looks, eyerolls, and patronizing comments - at a minimum and, in some cases, straight up verbal and physical bullying. And, of course, we know that this can carry over into social media and the classroom.

We need our associations and teams to do more than offer empty “zero tolerance” policies. They NEED to take action. To create a culture that embraces acceptance and support of one another. It probably means research. It probably means training and accountability. But we cannot continue as we are. Youth sports are supposed to enrich our children’s lives, not tear them down. 

We implore our associations and teams to take the following actions:

Make a statement about your commitment to creating healthy and safe environments for our children.
Meet with your board and other appropriate parties to discuss the issues in your association/team and how to combat them. This may require reaching out to current and/or former families and students for feedback.
TAKE ACTION. Make sure your coaches, athletes, and families are aware of any changes and expectations. Make sure there is a way to hold people accountable - and celebrate those who are making the effort. 
Follow-up - Reach out to families, coaches, and students to see if the changes are working or if there are still areas of concern.

The change needs to go beyond punishing ‘bad behavior’. Kids don’t want to report their coaches or peers because they are afraid of retaliation and being further ostracized. What we need is a cultural shift in our teams, where the norm is being a good, encouraging teammate to EVERYONE on the team (or in the association) and anything less than that is unacceptable.

We, the undersigned, ask that you will consider this matter fully with the respect and diligence it deserves - that our kids deserve. It could save a life. 

Sign this petition that will be sent to many youth organizations and teams and/or send an email to the board members and coaches of your organizations - especially if you have your own stories to share. Let's all stand up and make our teams better for our kids now!

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Signatures: 908Next Goal: 1,000
Support now
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