Letter to the Pilot

Monday, November 18, 2002

Shoes aren't the issue in Alta, respect is


This letter is in response to the editor regarding the Alta football program and the issue of the yellow shoes. The Alta Education Association wholeheartedly supports the coaches in the decision they made concerning the final football game of the year played on November 1.

The coaches have worked hard to develop team unity and the season's record reflects the success of this ideal. When a few members of the team wanted to show their individuality by painting their shoes yellow, thereby focusing attention on themselves rather than on the team as a whole, our coaches told them not to.

Those individuals were told no, more than once. On Thursday at practice and again on Friday before the game, they were reminded that if they didn't change their shoes they would not play. Those players who chose not to respect the coaches' decision made the choice not to play in their final game.

The issue really isn't the color of one's shoes; rather it is one of respect. Respect is one of the pillars taught and stressed in the Character Counts program which is used throughout all grades in the Alta school system. Students are taught to respect the decisions of parents, elders, teachers and coaches.

Students need to be supported if they are wronged, but when students misbehave, break rules/laws, show disrespect, etc., it is our responsibility as educators and coaches, along with their parents, to see that they learn there are consequences for the choices they make.

Teaching does not take place only in the classroom. It takes place in the hallways, at student council meetings, on a football field, on a basketball court, on a baseball diamond, etc. What better time and place to teach tolerance and teamwork than when a group gathers and is working toward a common goal. Our coaches were teaching teamwork/team unity and consequences of choice when they followed through with their decision to not allow those in yellow shoes to play.

The Alta Education Association commends our coaches for the stand they took. The Alta football team had a great winning season. Let's focus on that and not be distracted and divided by the choices of a few.

Members of the Alta

Education Association