Maple Grove Senior High Shares Action Plan Following Boys Hockey Team Incident

School officials: “Following the recent situation involving some members of the hockey team, we know there is additional work to do.”

“I want to be clear – this behavior is unacceptable. In my 32 years of coaching, boys and girls high school sports, is by far my worst experience.” 

These words from Maple Grove Senior High Boys Hockey Coach Gary Stefano came at the start of a Jan. 24 meeting that school officials shared an action plan with the media for “moving forward” following an incident reportedly involving some student athletes. 

No additional details were disclosed Thursday about the actual nature of the incident that led to the reported student athlete suspensions – district officials continuing to cite data privacy. 

The action plan came nearly a week after community members learned of an incident in which several players on the Maple Grove Senior High boys hockey team were reportedly been suspended from play for several games. 

A letter was sent to parents Jan. 24 and school officials held a meeting with the media that afternoon to share their “Maple Grove Senior High Action Plan for Moving Forward.”  (see PDF to the right) . 

The plan includes seven components about coach and staff actions moving forward. For example:

  • Staff will organize a meeting for all coaches to discuss how to provide opportunities to develop positive leadership skills among our athletes.
  • Hockey Coach Gary Stefano will work with his team to engage students in developing and reinforcing a code of honor, created and owned by the students themselves, that will help athletes in the hockey program hold each other to higher expectations. 

“We have nearly 1,700 kids in our school and sometimes they don’t always meet expectations. Even though we are a teaching and learning organization, we use this as a teaching opportunity to help them learn from their mistakes and avoid making the mistakes in the future,” Principal Sara Vernig said at the Jan. 24 meeting. 

“Helping them learn from their mistakes does not mean they are not held accountable for their actions,” she said. “We do expect them to be accountable, but we need to move forward.” 

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SHARE: What do you think of the school’s response? The action plan? Share your thoughts in comments.


In the news

Mike January 27, 2013 at 05:09 PM
What seems to be missing from this conversation is the fact that this behavior occurred in a private home. The gathering was not school sanctioned nor a school fuction. It was gathering of teenagers at a pivate gathering. Where were the adults during this time? If the parents of the teenagers involved want to make pulic the information about the teens involved, they can. The school is bound by privacy laws. It's data privancy. It's the same rights workers have in the work place to keep employers from revealig personal information about employees. The school district could face legal charges if they ignored the students' rights to privacy. If charges are brought against any of these teenagers in court--and IF charges are brought that the teenagers face in adult court, the imformation becomes public record.
David F January 28, 2013 at 03:43 AM
At a minimum this is a public relations mess for the Osseo Maple School district. The school district says nothing illegal happened yet the Maple Grove Police say they know nothing about it. Should the school district be determining what is legal and not legal? If a whole hockey team is suspended you have pretty well blown data privacy. The district needs to bring in a reputable 3rd party like the county attorney to review the incident to see if anything illegal to clear the air. Citypages has run an article about the incident which does not print a pretty picture of the incident. Again, the school district needs to do something to keep this from spiraling out of control. The school district wants to 'move on' but in the Internet age these things can have a life of their own.
Tim Ralston January 28, 2013 at 03:28 PM
The city/school can and should tell all, less names. They need to come clean about what has been happening. Rumors will spread fast, so isn't the truth more important? To say the county could be a 3rd party that is reputable, is not so. People really need to read up on the Steubenville, Ohio football team independent that is "spiraling" into the truth, but out of the city, school and county's control, This is good because controlling it by hiding it is wrong. The message sent to kids that are protected from facing the consequences of their actions while we often condemn others not in the "click' is unfair to them and us. Privilege is not an excuse for covering up the truth. When ever guilty people speak of "moving forward", they just want to avoid the truth to be found out.
Jodi January 29, 2013 at 04:17 AM
the police were consulted by the school and are not involved. Regardless of what happened, I find it absolutely sick that people need to push so hard to find something that may really not be a story or scandal. It sounds like consequences DID occur. Move on and find your own drama to deal with....perhaps your households, schools, and athletic departments need more of your attention?
Tim Ralston February 01, 2013 at 07:29 PM
"Consulting" the police does not mean nothing illegal was done, and to be sure, if that WAS the finding why didn't the police say that. They gave a very guarded and scripted statement. Why people push is because you need to to uncover cover ups. People that cover up wrongs, do not just give it up with out others pushing. Finally to try to deflect the attention by bringing up other peoples households, is a defense used, quite often by guilty people. Besides that, it is our community and our taxes. We have every right to question, just as you do if it is something in my house.


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