Coaching supervision, please!

A lot of folks are on radio and TV making a huge deal about coaches supervising locker rooms and other areas. Please! I go back over 50 years as a high school student and supervision never has been a concern of coaches and PE teachers.

I participated in gym classes between 1962 in 1968 in the Valley Central secondary system.  During that entire time, every gym class was completely unsupervised by the teachers or coaches for the first 15 minutes of the session. Every one.

Where were they? In the coaches office, smoking cigarettes, and bitching about their jobs.

And what were the students doing? Throwing balls at other kids heads and testicles. Ganging up on those who couldn’t protect themselves and savagely beating them in a corner.  Chasing kids and pulling down their shorts, leaving them naked from the waist down.

And that was just the regular kids. The special ed / retarded kids got it so much worse.  Everything horrible you can imagine happened to them.

All while the coaches we’re sucking down their Marlboros and complaining how life was treating THEM badly.

And it really didn’t get much better when the coaches came out. If you were not a jock, you were verbally abused. And the kids who didn’t dress for gym, you can just imagine what they heard.

So who was supervising the coaches? The principal of the school was a very stern, no-nonsense guy who terrorized most of the teachers.  But because coaches in the 60s were like rock stars, nothing would be done about them, no matter what they did. In the six years I was at secondary school, I never saw the principal once in gym class. In all of my other classes, I saw the principal several times.

So did a Sayreville moment occur that released these kids from their terrors?
No, there was no escape and there was no escape for years and years.

Today these coaches are either retired or dead. They we’re honored at retirement dinners with glowing testimonials. I wish I could have been there to speak. There might have been a little more silence and a little less applause. These were not good men.

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