Parents required to sign contract
Students must abide a code of conduct while enrolled in the Tonganoxie school district.
Now parents are being held accountable for their actions at sporting events also.
Parents of student-athletes, effective this school year, are required to sign a "parent conduct contract" before their children can participate in games.
"We need to have them in hand before the student plays in a game," Tonganoxie High athletics director Brandon Parker said Monday.
If an athlete's parent does not agree to the contract, the athlete would be ineligible for games, Parker said.
According to the athletics director, there were no specific incidents that triggered the need for the contract. Rather, national headlines about fans getting out of hand influenced the decision, Parker said.
"You just hear more and more instances around the nation about people losing control at events centered around kids," Parker said. "We want to have this in place so our events for the kids aren't disrupted by others.
"We have very, very few incidents of things happening, but it's kind of the day and age we live in now."
Under the contract, parents agree that they will not engage in any unsportsmanlike conduct at events and that they will be positive role models for their children and encourage sportsmanship at every game, practice and other sporting event they attend. Parents who sign the contract also are responsible for their spouses and any guests they bring to events.
The final stipulation pertains to relations with coaches. According to the contract, parents will "not encounter a coach before, during or after a game or practice with a concern." The parents, instead, must schedule an appointment to speak with the coach at a convenient time for both parties.
Fans also are subject to immediate removal from an event if they act inappropriately and would be banned from future practices, games and other athletics-related events, pending review by administrators.
In addition, the school board will leave it to administrators, athletics directors and coaches to enforce the good sportsmanship code.
Superintendent Richard Erickson said he favored the contract.
"I support it, I think it's a good plan," Erickson said. "I've heard positive comments about it from several parents. Great concept, great idea."
Parker said some parents already have turned in their contracts.
"Feedback I've heard has been very positive and is the right step," Parker said.