by Chris Haire
I met with Coach Bud Walpole at 2:00 p.m. today. I went into this meeting with an open mind prepared to listen to both his perspective and his appeal. During the meeting, he acknowledged that the facts that emerged surrounding the celebratory practices of the Academic Magnet High School football program could be viewed in a negative way. He agreed that we will work together on increasing diversity awareness for students and the community.
I requested that he provide to me his written statement of commitment, after which I would consider his position as the head football coach. I received his statement at 4:45 p.m.
Having reviewed his statement, I am persuaded that he appreciates CCSD’s need to investigate these facts. I feel good about our meeting, and I am confident that in his position as teacher, mentor and coach he will use the experience to deliver on his commitments, which are as follows:
1. I commit to teach all of the students to better respect the differences of others and to be sensitive to their feelings.
2. I will attend and participate with students in any sensitivity training sponsored or initiated by the district.
3. I will counsel my students before games to be extra vigilant in their actions when dealing with others of different racial or ethnic backgrounds.
While there are, and may continue to be, different perspectives on this chain of events, I would like to invite our community to join together with me and Coach Walpole to use this as a “teachable moment” for the benefit of our children.
This is not about winning or losing, this is about enhancing our commitment to dignity and respect, regardless of our differences.
Taking into consideration the potential value that he will add to our students and the community, given this experience, I am asking him to resume his coaching duties effective Thursday, October 23, 2014.