A Fallacy for the New Policy?
By Sally Kim
In light of recent misdeeds by high school coaches and student athletes, CPS has instituted a new communication policy to ensure safety between the student body and the coaching staff. Under the new policy, all communication between adults and students via personal email or cell phone is discouraged. Mr. Barry R. Smith Jr., Assistant Principal, believes these measures are necessary when it comes to protecting students. “This is the best option that we have in supporting ongoing communication in athletics,” said Mr. Smith, “and it’s more flexible and opens more options up for students.”
CPS now requires coaches to use a new app, “Remind,” which Mr. Smith believes is a very small yet necessary change. “It affords more options for students and coaches to communicate” said Mr. Smith. Those who support the change argue that before implementation, the only way for student-athletes and coaches to communicate was via their personal modes of communication. The new policy allows space for privacy and discourages uncomfortable intimacy. Furthermore, it allows for students without phone service or who do not check their phones often to still be notified of important information. “If a student doesn't have a cell phone, they can still get the same messages at the same time only in their email” said Mr. Smith. “It gives students and coaches the tools they need to communicate and be a team.” Kathleen Clemenz, Adv. 005, a student athlete on NCP’s cross country team, believes the new policy should not cause such a controversy. She states that she is not personally affected by it as she usually communicates with her coach via email anyways. “[Remind] is just like GroupMe, except in a new format. It’s not that bad.”
While there is some support for the new policy, other coaches and students believe the measure is too restrictive. Ms. Darlene Horn, varsity women’s tennis coach, said, “It’s pretty inconvenient because we’re not allowed to contact the athletes personally via text when we’ve always been doing that for tennis. I’ve noticed a lot of the players still haven’t installed the app, and what’s more, it delays communication because most players don’t even check it.” Edina Hadzic, Adv. 905, agrees. “It adds inconvenience because our swim coaches or captains always used to notify the swimmers via text, but now because of the new policy, some people haven’t gotten around to receiving many of the necessary messages.”
While there may be a number of differences surrounding the new communication policy, there is no doubt that CPS administrators are seeking to lower the number of misconducts that have been tainting its reputation for the past several years. Only time will tell how effective these new policy changes will be.