The Janesville school district is doing what school boards do best – that is, everything other than actually making sure students learn anything. A hockey coach has been suspended for five games for swearing and demeaning players, which naturally has forced the school district to issue another \”policy\” dealing with athletic coaches.

No one would argue that coaches can\’t cross the line in their treatment of players. The hockey coach may very well have gone too far. But enacting this new policy sounds all too much like the school board giving in to whiny parents. Instead of the board having to actually make decisions on a case-by-case basis, they just throw out a blanket policy that tells coaches how to coach and hamstrings their ability to motivate players as they see fit.

Granted, it has been a long time since I\’ve been involved in high school athletics. But at one point, parents trusted their young men and women with their coaches. Coaches occasionally swore, but only to motivate their players. Maybe it\’s gotten out of hand in the last 15 years and we can\’t trust coaches anymore. More likely, parents have grown more controlling about what their little babies hear and see.

There\’s evidence of this in the proposed new policy, which is supposed to provide \”a positive and constructive environment.\” The policy prohibits profanity, \”criticizing to demean or humiliate\” and \”inappropriate contact.\” What any of those mean will likely be sorted out in the courts by the first parent whose kid is criticized.

The idea that a school board, whose members may never have been involved in athletics at any level, can micromanage how coaches teach their players is ridiculous. Of course coaches should be expected to maintain some decorum, and should be punished appropriately if they don\’t. But to equate an athletic field with a classroom shows how utterly clueless the school board is.

Here\’s a video of the story that describes the new policy. More disturbing than the actual policy is where Parker football coach Joe Dye says his players respond better to \”stroking\” than \”poking.\” Now that probably deserves some kind of policy against it.

In related news, some guy decided to \”rock out with his c**k out\” on a Janesville bike path.