The public input portion of the North Crawford School Board meeting often passes without comment, but that was not the case last Thursday. Several people, including concerned parents, rose to discuss a situation with the school’s volleyball team.
North Crawford volleyball players were not placed on the Ridge and Valley All-Conference Team following the end of the season earlier this month. Volleyball coaches of the seven other conference teams were reported to have voted unanimously to not include any North Crawford players on the all-conference team. The coaches decided to exclude North Crawford players because they believed those players had engaged in “unacceptable behavior” earlier in the season regarding posts on Twitter, a social media site.
The comments at the board meeting last Thursday began with Jean Troxel, a parent of a North Crawford volleyball player. Troxel began by noting the Independent-Scout story about the situation, which appeared in last week’s edition.
Referencing the posts by North Crawford players on Twitter, which formed the basis of the coaches’ decision to exclude the players from the all-conference team, Troxel asked if the 23 other players named to the all-conference team had their social media posts reviewed.
“Why was North Crawford singled out?” Troxel asked.
The parent explained her only background knowledge of the situation concerning the social media posts involved a brief meeting after a practice with four players and coach Anna Davidson.
Troxel said that other than the informal meeting, she was never contacted by school officials. She questioned why, if the district felt it was necessary to consult an attorney about the situation, parents weren’t notified.
Ritchie Stevenson, another parent of volleyball players, called for the matter to be investigated.
Board president Mary Kuhn and vice president Miguel Morga both questioned the decision of the coaches to exclude North Crawford players from the all-conference team. Kuhn noted there were no athletic code violations and the decision did not appear to be based on the criteria set up for the all-conference selection.
Morga also took exception to the decision and wondered if the conference coaches hadn’t “overreacted” to the situation.
Kuhn noted that both the coach and school’s athletic director said there was no code violation.
“Somewhere, we underreacted or the other group overreacted,” Morga said.
“We need to check the bullying policy,” Kuhn said. “I thought it was in the athletic code, if it’s not it should be inserted.”
In answer to a question from Stevenson, Morga said the way to have a more in-depth discussion about the matter was to schedule it on the next school board agenda. Morga requested the matter be placed on the next meeting’s agenda.
Stevenson said the players were “terribly hurt after playing their hearts out.” He urged the process be expedited.
District Administrator Dan Davies said requests had been made to other conference schools for information on the situation and the district was awaiting those replies