No eligibility to play
The April 6 BDN article concerning eligibility of a high school student who wanted to play baseball at Deering High School in Portland seemed to imply that the parental-driven lawsuit is based on the student’s ability to pitch.
I coached for 32 of the 37 years that I taught high school, and believe me — eligibility rules are not kept secret from either parents or students. They are usually posted in the athletic office, handed out to teams at the beginning of seasons, and certainly are available to anyone interested.
To imply that an exception should be made to rules that have long been in place and that have been crafted for the long-term benefit of all students because of an ability to throw an “85 mph fastball” is an insult to the Maine Principals Association. It oversees high school athletics, and one of the most well-known restrictions is that the association does not allow students to change schools on a whim just to play sports in a specific season.
For the parents in this situation to claim that the awareness of the rules “came out of the blue” indicates to me that neither they nor their son were paying attention. To imply that “permission to transfer” translates into “eligible to play” is unrealistic. A specific athletic skill does not warrant an exception to the rules.
The principals association does a fine job of overseeing high school sports. There are no secrets there, and nothing “comes out of the blue.”
Prepare for emergencies
On April 24 and 25, Maine Emergency Management Agency hosts the 10th Annual Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference at the Augusta Civic Center. Since last year’s conference, we have seen an unprecedented number of threats and disasters across the nation, both natural and manmade. Wildfires and landslides destroyed lives and homes on the West Coast. Many Texans, Floridians and Puerto Ricans are still recovering from an active hurricane season. In Hawaii, a nuclear missile attack warning was erroneously released as a live alert. And Mainers reacted as the fast-moving wind storm in October reminded us that we must be prepared for anything, always.
Additionally, Maine grieved with the family and friends of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victims in Parkland, Florida. This incited numerous threats of violence against schools across the country, including Maine. We began working even more closely with the Department of Education to improve our plans. Mainers appear now to be more comfortable with the “See Something, Say Something” campaign and reporting suspicious behavior.
Our conference theme is Prepare to Recover. This is so important during these times, because often the disaster itself is over relatively quickly, but the damage can linger for years due not only to physical destruction, but also by emotional damage.
Join us April 24 and 25 at the Augusta Civic Center and take charge of your preparedness in 2018. You can register at MainePrepares.com.
Maine Emergency Management Agency
Poliquin abdicates his democratic duty
I recently phoned Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s office and expressed my concern about the his silence in the face of President Donald Trump’s threats to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Specifically, I asked if Poliquin was going to advocate to protect the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
I was told that Poliquin has no position on this matter and is not going to make any public statements about it as it it is not formally being considered by the House. The legislative assistant said that Poliquin has a policy of only speaking about legislative matters under consideration by the House. I reminded the assistant that Poliquin also had taken an oath of office “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Poliquin’s overly narrow definition of his role in Congress enables him to avoid embarrassing disagreements with the leaders of his party, who have been unwilling to stand up for one of our most fundamental democratic values — the rule of law. By refusing to say or do anything as the leader of his party threatens to end the special counsel’s investigation and obstruct justice, Poliquin is abdicating his responsibility to represent the people of Maine. His deliberate passivity is inconsistent with his oath of office.