Parents and team members are protesting the move and have filled the board room for two meetings.
I want to confirm the content of our meeting on August 27, 2013. Present at the meeting were Gary Bloom, Karen Hendricks, Karen Edmonds, Mitch Medina and George Arnott.
At the meeting it was agreed and acknowledged that the protocol set up by the Santa Cruz City Schools was not followed. Under the rules, when there is a complaint against a district employee, there must be a written complaint and the employee is supposed to be notified of the complaint within 5 days. We all agreed that was not done. In fact, we all agreed that I was never informed of any complaint during the course of the school year. Under the rules, a complaint is supposed to be handled by the employee’s immediate supervisor, then the principal, then the district and ultimately the Board if no resolution can be reached. We all agreed that was not done. We further agreed that the complaining parent went directly to the district superintendent who did not address the complaint with me as the rules required.
You indicated to me that it was a decision of the Board, the district and Ms. Edmonds not to renew my contract. The two reasons that were pointed to at the meeting were (1) the use of profanity and (2) an email I sent to parents on July __, 2013 in which I asked parents to take their negativity off the team.
I am surprised that these reasons were sufficient to support a decision for non-renewal. However, it seems to me that we all bear some responsibility for what occurred. I have already apologized for the email and have acknowledged that, as a first year coach, I made other mistakes and am willing to work with the district and the school not to repeat them. But if someone had told me that I needed to change my language or advised me on how to deal with parents, I would have changed my behavior and we would not be where we are now. We all agreed that neither of the two families who approached the district ever addressed me personally.
1.) George can be assistant coach.
2.) George can help in the selection process of the new head coach.
3.) Once he is assistant coach George needs to promote healing with players.
4.) George needs to help create a climate with no bullying
5.) George needs to make sure there are no repercussions or fallout from what has occurred.
6.) George uses no profanity and demeaning terms.
7.) George needs to attend a positive coaching clinic.
8.) George needs to have monthly meetings with Karen Hendricks.
9.) George needs to sign a use permit for the Santa Cruz Baseball academy.
10.) George has to make a public statement admitting his wrong doings.
My Counter Proposal.
Based on what you stated at the meeting, it appears that you have two main goals: (1) that the program get back on its feet and there is some "healing" and (2) that there is oversight of my interactions with players and parents.
It was asked of me at the meeting if there was anyone else who could help "heal the program." My response then and now is: No. As you can see from the support I have received, all of the varsity team wants me back except maybe three. There are numerous JV players who want me back. There are a dozen incoming players who are going to attend SCHS because they want to be part of building this program with me. No new coach will have that type of support. In fact, a new coach will have to get over the resentment of the players first. I am not saying this out of ego. I am saying this because this is what the players and parents have told me. Given all this, to meet your goals, I offer the following counterproposal:
1. I will agree to attend a positive coaching clinic.
2. I will agree to monthly meetings with Karen Edmonds and Eric Redding and/or Karen Hendricks to review the status of the program, and communications with parents and players.
3. I will agree not to use profanity.
4. I will promote "healing" and team unity, and will not tolerate bullying or intimidation of any kind.
5. I am renewed as head coach.
6. I will issue a public statement that this incident was a result of mutual miscommunications. I will acknowledge that I made mistakes and that I fully agree to a probationary term and gladly agree to the oversight the district wants over the program. I will say that the district and I will work together to bring back the long and proud tradition of SCHS baseball.
7. I propose that Bryan Wall, Assistant Superintendent of the County Board of Education, be my mentor in dealing with players and parents and the school policy.
I believe that this counter proposal addresses the stated concerns of the school district, which are (1) healing for the team and their families and (2) oversight of my performance as coach. From the standpoint of oversight, I am willing to take positive coaching classes and meet regularly with school administrators to discuss the team’s progress. From the standpoint of healing, I know that I can bring this program together and put this incident in the past. All of the varsity team except for two, maybe three families, all of the junior varsity team, and about a dozen student athletes who are currently in ninth grade or will be in ninth grade next year, and their families support me and want me to continue as head coach. With all of this strong support, I know I can get the cooperation necessary to promote team unity and school spirit.