Back-To-School Time & It’s “Grammar Gone Wild” With Football Coaches Needing Serious Grammar Coaching!



My 12 year-old son is going to be playing football this year. When I dropped him off this morning for his first day of mini-camp before regular practice begins for the season next week, I could only wonder if my son was about to be playing with the high school team. The boys were mammoth in size. These boys were, for the most part, not overweight. These were just big boys who would probably be throwing their competition down in the dirt a lot this season. Anyway, as I reviewed the forms and paperwork I was asked to fill out, I noticed something that I have become all to familiar with, when it comes to communication from certain areas of the public school system.

Keep in mind, at the end of the school year last year, during the football parent/student meeting, the coach explained that grades were considered priority number one. This meant that if a student could not maintain a certain GPA (grade point average), the student would be dismissed from the football team until he was able to bring up his grades. Knowing that education was so highly valued, it was disheartening to read a two-page document from the middle school football coaches entitled, ‘Football Parent/Player Guidelines and Contract.’

It wasn’t the intent of the document that was so discouraging. In fact, knowing that the coaches insist that both parents and players sign a ‘contract’ as they call it, to agree to abide by the rules set forth for the football team both on and off the field was admirable.

It was that the communication that came from the school system was full of misspellings, punctuation errors and poor grammar use. Are you kidding me? So, is there anything that can be done to ensure that my child actually is instructed in the English language that is supposed to be taught within the school system? Or do I need to sit in each English class to see where the problem is and invite the coaches to join me.

Some examples:

  1. ‘There is no pay and you get to play that is associated with leagues ran outside of school jurisdiction.’ (Like nails on a chalkboard. The use of the past tense for the word, ‘run’ is not appropriate here.)
  2. ‘Our goal is for every student-athlete here at XX middle school be a good student first and then a good athlete.’ (missing word)
  3. ‘We also will not meet to discuss playing time with a parent if their player is not present in the meeting also, as their presence tends to be more beneficial for them.’ (the word, ‘parent’ is singular but the word ‘their’ is used rather than ‘his or her’ to signify ONE parent.

I could go on. But you have better things to do. And I fear, I have much more school work to discuss with the principal of the school regarding those who are communicating to my son on a day-to-day basis. For me, if educational standards are set for my son, (and I applaud this 100%) I would at least hope educational standards would be set for those instructing my son in anything connected with an educational institution receiving tax dollars.

How in the world am I supposed to think my son will be properly educated to communicate with the world around him if those teaching him are not well-educated on the proper use of the English language?

If only John Stossel with ABC News would do a TV segment on the widespread use of poor grammar within the public school systems nationwide. You may remember his segments called, ‘Gimme A Break.’ Now, there’s an idea. 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. i are de very gud in english. lolz
    Just kidding. I remember having to correct a teacher’s spelling in class … in fifth grade. He was very persistent so I had to take out a dictionary and show him.
    Low standards are a problem in schools everywhere, and it’s not just about grammar. I have some great stories … for another occasion.


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