“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.”
SHARE: What do you think of the school’s response? The action plan? Share your thoughts in comments.
In the news
- Angst and silence at Maple Grove over hockey team incident (Star Tribune)
- Maple Grove High School pushes to "change culture" (Channel 12)