Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Let our voices be heard

From page A6 | March 11, 2014 |

By Andrea Glasgow

Nancy Peterson, this is for you.

Your statement in Friday’s paper, “may we become sensitive to and forever mindful of those who have not yet discovered the strength of their voices,” has moved me to find my voice.

Having met you and your husband and driven your son to volleyball games last year, I tell all spectators in this circus that you and your family are truly a class act and justified in your actions. The Davis non-volleyball community does not know the extent of the matters.

Do they know that your daughter was moved up in volleyball and played at a high skill level for several years prior to the events? So why would she be cut now? The independent conclusion was retaliation. So now your family is supposed to work this out? Unbelievable!

It will be Davis’ loss now that you have resigned, Nancy, but maybe our superintendent and other members of the Board of Education can do what is right. But if not, you most certainly would win a lawsuit. As you indicated, Nancy, there is real fear about approaching a coach due to an air of superiority and known consequences; why else is this story so one-sided and the only people speaking out are Julie Crawford’s “star” players?

Unfortunately, this superiority can be learned by our young teens and used against each other. I doubt the slashing of your daughter’s tires was a coincidence, and it is another example of retaliation.

Now, a glimpse at my story. My son played on the boys volleyball squad last year. He had chosen not to play for coach Crawford this year. While he was new to the team, he played recreationally weekly and loved the game. He rarely missed full practices. One week he came down with a flu virus. When I look back, it could have been H1N1.

I emailed Julie and told her that my son was physically drained and that he would miss one week of practice. He told me the following week that Julie told him that he was expected to come in and watch practice that week. Really! Does a coach believe that a player is going to learn as much by sitting and watching when he isn’t feeling well?

This type of intimidation does not put the health and welfare of our children first. Nor should a parent fear ramifications for legitimately dismissing a sick child, nor should a child fear being benched for being sick for a week. This is just one incident in a long list of perceived code of conduct or ethical issues.

Let me state, however, that there are many wonderful coaches in Davis. They are respectful to both parents and players, and I thank them for taking on the huge responsibility in coaching our kids. But we must challenge anyone in direct contact with our children who has taken his or her power to another level.

Our little town does need to find its voice in this issue. I encourage anyone with past or present incidents with coach Crawford to email our superintendent and Board of Education. I have nothing to gain or lose by submitting this letter, just a hope that future sons and daughters can play volleyball in a different setting.

— Andrea Glasgow is a Davis resident.

Special to The Enterprise


Discussion | 31 comments

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  • March 08, 2014 - 6:33 pm

    Andrea, I respectfully disagree that an injured/recovering player can not learn while watching a practice. Players can learn a lot by reading a game, watching and anayzing a skill set. A sprain/injuryn or illness that benches them for a spell is an opportunity to take stats, watch, analyze and read the game they are learning/developing. And, it can be very theraputic to be helpful and contribute to their team when injured. It gives them a bit of control over the circumstances that got them benched in the first place, if it is health related. I have (granted, it is 20 plus years old) a coaching credential from the UC and have done a bit of coaching over the years for my duaghters' teams. And, yes, I have had great relationships with parents--positive and fun partnerships. And yes, I have had not so great conversations with parents, too--rarely, lucky for me. It is always best for parents, teachers and coaches--all of us who work with kids--to assume positive intent. We all want what is best for the kid(s). The (s) is loaded statement especially when coaches and teachers have to balance the needs of everyone on the team and everyone in the class; and, parents need to advocate for their child. This is a converstation that even Department of State diplomats would have trouble navigating I bet...

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  • March 08, 2014 - 8:39 pm

    Andrea, Thanks for speaking up. The truth hurts sometimes, but it needed to be told. Davis deserves better than this coach is capable of delivering. She is clearly a bully that has abused her position of power several times.

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  • truth be toldMarch 09, 2014 - 10:24 am

    I respectfully disagree as well, it is quite common to have sick (especially if they are just "drained" from being sick and on the mend) or injured players watch practice, especially if they are new to the sport. When learning a sport it is important to not put athletes in situations where they will be unsuccessful or fail, if a player doesn't know where to go on the court or what skill to use it makes for not a lot of playing time. Especially if a player wants to get in as much as possible, even with injury and slight sickness players can bounce back much faster if they have been watching skills and technique at practice even if they cannot fully participate. The more you miss the less you play. It is also important for team cohesion to have all players there as much as possible, especially when at the high school level. What about all the other athletes that are at practice all the time? If there are not rules regarding missing practice then it creates dissension on a team as players start to wonder why they have to be there if others don't, no matter what the reason. Asking a player to sit out and watch is also can be considered a coaches way of caring for an athlete so they don't get behind, especially if they are just learning. It confuses me that you would also email the coach instead of having your high school aged athlete do this himself, as having athletes advocate and be responsible for themselves is one of the teaching platforms for high school athletics. I also don't understand how asking a player to attend practice in order to keep up with what the team is doing is wrong, and I certainly don't think that it warrants your comment of "this type of intimidation does not put the health and welfare of our children first. Nor should a parent fear ramifications for legitimately dismissing a sick child, nor should a child fear being benched for being sick for a week. This is just one incident in a long list of perceived code of conduct or ethical issues". What were the ramifications for your son not participating, he didn't play as much? A child should be benched from games for missing a week of practice not as punishment but because they were not there to learn what the team was doing. A lot can be learned in one practice. Typically teams have policies that if you miss practice for any reason you don't get to play for a certain amount of time. There is no way an athlete can miss practice for a week and then just expect to pick up where they left off and expect to play, especially on a competitive team where the athlete is just new and learning. In response to "clearly a bully that has abused her her position of power several times" I really don't understand how asking a player to watch or help at practice even if they cannot fully participate warrants being called a bully that abuses power several times. Coaches make decisions all the time that non coaches may not understand, but it isn't fair to make assumptions if you don't really know the situations or the circumstances or if you are not a qualified coach. High school sports are not the same as little league or AYSO soccer. For the record, the daughter did not play on a highly competitive volleyball team. There are many levels of club volleyball. Lastly you talk about code of conduct and ethical issues but you preface it with "perceived" , so really I feel that it had no place in your letter because it seems that you don't really know for sure that anything like that occurred,but more that you are grasping at straws to make Coach Crawford look bad or to make someone else look good. Did you actually witness any of that or are you just supporting Nancy as you very clearly admire her. I appreciate your perspective, but in this case it seems that you are totally unaware of what Nancy Peterson has actually been doing to the volleyball program for years.

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  • March 09, 2014 - 11:57 am

    That was a great letter,"truth to be told"! Couldn't agree more.

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  • John BlackApril 09, 2014 - 3:23 pm

    Boy that was a lot of words..I totally agree with Andrea in that if a child is down and out they should not be expected to "sit it out." While it is common practice for SOME coaches it is not for all coaches. Other coaches make the kid miss one game; not sit on the bench sick....

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  • Serious QuestionMarch 11, 2014 - 10:27 am

    My daughter received a C on a poem she wrote that really deserved an A. I'm certain it was personal bias on the teacher's part led to this unfair grade. Do you think DJUSD will be willing to spend $22,000 to investigate my complaint, or will I have to get elected to the School Board first? Any advice, anyone?

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  • More FactsMarch 11, 2014 - 10:50 am

    Become a staunch Democrat in town, tout a PhD, and talk with a slightly Northeastern affect. and I think you have a future here.

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  • John BlackApril 09, 2014 - 3:27 pm

    Serious Question knows not what she is talking about; otherwise she would have used her name. Andrea is at least stating what she believes to be true about a coach...No doubt your child is on the Volleyball girl's team and favored by this coach.

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  • Exhausted parentMarch 09, 2014 - 1:43 pm

    After reading this I find that I continue to be stunned by the bailout mentality many Davis parents have. The lack of wanting to place responsibility on children is apauling. If I am sick from work for a week I must call in and check my emails each day because the work does not go away. The sports and teammates don't go away either. I have played and coached several sports at the high school level as well as the semipro level...and I can tell you straight out...unless you are on your death bed you are expected to be at practice and games to show your support, commitment and dedication to your fellow teammates. Even if this means just siting on the bench listening. And my son was on the team last year for the first time and again this year I find that coach Crawford's demeanor and skills are appropriate. Sometimes here in Davis parents don't want to hear things not go their child's way or their way....the reality is life does not always go your way....maybe it happens so often in Davis we loose sight of reality. Did your son attend school during this week he was sick? If so why could he not come sit at practice even for 1/2 hour? I have personally witnessed the way in which NP has treated coach crawford over the last few years I shocked that more people have not spoken up. I am sad to say that I am glad she resigned but did not humbly accept her part in the drama. And i do say part because there are always 2 parts to a story. Plus the damage is done....people have been hurt and intimidated, jobs have been affected, kids have been placed in harm .....maybe we will all learn to use our words more productively next time instead of slandering, blaming and throwing mud...isn't that what we tell our children or are we just lying to them and ourselves??????

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  • Nameless like the restApril 09, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    EXHAUSTED PARENT: Miss Glasgow is not a parent who coddles her child. I am not going to give my name. She was justified in her complaint, as this was not the only thing against her son done by Julie. But, the community at large does not know this. Glad your son can tolerate this woman; he must have found favoritism.....

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  • Blue Devil by tradeMarch 09, 2014 - 3:43 pm

    Here we go again. Andrea, you don't have a clue what intimidation is...coaches at DHS are forced to baby the athletes on a regular basis...why??? Because of parents just like you. There are no rules for teams because as soon as an athlete breaks them, here comes a parent (typically not willing to actually speak with the coach) with an excuse for the child. Ever wonder why our school struggles in non-country club sports??? In football and basketball, specifically, you cannot just win because you play on the local club team- those athletes are legitimately TOUGH. Those kids who have kept football from winning a single playoff game in nearly 10 years and in boys basketball nearly 20 are willing to hit our Davis kids literally square in the mouth and our kids will do nothing but whine to the officials and parents sit in the stands and cry foul. We have not and do not adequately prepare our youth in Davis to go out and be successful outside of this bubble- wonder why so many kids go away to college and show up back in town within a year??? The real world eats up Davis kids far too often and it is our fault as a community because we are so AFRAID of allowing our kids to develop THROUGH adversity.

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  • March 09, 2014 - 5:51 pm

    That was a great respond! Plain and simple! Thank you.

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  • March 10, 2014 - 10:35 am

    Blue Devil by Trade ... I have wondered about this, but didn't know if what I was witnessing was true. Have others witnessed a large number of students failing when they leave the bubble of Davis?

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  • MLMarch 10, 2014 - 11:12 am

    Dear Ms. Glasgow, thank you for your perspective in this community discussion. May I reply? While Nancy Peterson's daughter made the varsity, that is only step one. You also ignore that the talent on the team was increasing year by year. You told us in your piece that your son "rarely missed full practices". In 6 years as an athlete, I can't recall missing a single practice. When I was sick (twice), I still attended games. When you commit to a team, you commit. I also missed family birthday parties, including my own party. Your story about your son being requested to attend practice while sick, and your feeling that it was "intimidation" is quite telling. This is not youth soccer or community theater. This is competitive athletics!! If the coach added one new play every practice, your son would then be 5 plays behind at weeks end. On top of this, the coaches probably taught new techniques and subtle nuances that add up. Your assertion that your son might have had H1N1 also sounds like unneeded hyperbole which makes me wonder about your viewpoint and perspective. Fearing that a child might be benched because they missed a week of practice is convoluted logic; it is common sense that you miss a week of practice, and YOU hurt your own chances! There is no "fear", there is the reality of life. Lastly, I see that Coach Crawford's system, techniques, and assistants are doing quite well as the Blue Devil boys team is off to a wonderful 5-0 start. Great news for the program.

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  • MatlockMarch 10, 2014 - 1:14 pm

    I'm not sure i understand what the complaint is here. Was the kid healthy enough to practice but denied practice time but was required to sit through practice or did he need more time to recover? Is the complaint that he was barely healthy enough to return to school but not healthy enough to attend practice? Was the complaint that he should have been able to play in a game even though he missed a week of practice? Was the coach ever given a doctor's note? Different answers to these clarifying questions would better inform the public about the nature of the decision by the coach. Teachers and coaches make more decisions in a day than in almost any other profession. My first reaction is the coach felt that if the kid is on the team he should attend practice even if he can't play. Its team building to expect this. Still I'm not sure what the issue is in this letter on its face it seems the coach tried to work with the individual needs of the student but the parent disagreed with the coach's decision. Oh well.

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  • March 10, 2014 - 2:03 pm

    You are all missing the brilliance of this 'letter'. It is satire people. Nobody in their right mind would believe that a coach informing a player about team expectations could in any way be construed as intimidation. I commend you Andrea on your subtle, yet witty exposure of 'Volleyballgate' for what it is; A Davis parent gone off the deep end.

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  • Napoleon Pig IVMarch 11, 2014 - 8:57 am

    Oh no! Don't point out satire to sheep. You know they can't handle it. Remember: Power to the Pigs.

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  • KimMarch 11, 2014 - 2:32 pm

    Wow, I wish it were satire, but I think she really believes her son was abused by the coach for telling him to sit (not play) and watch the practice. I dunno, perhaps it was so he could learn the plays for the next game? (If she let him skip practice but wasn't allowed to play the next game because he didn't know the plays, would that be retaliation for asking for the week off?) Was the son so sick he couldn't go to school and the coach had him come in? If so, please say so. Did you tell the coach you thought he had the killer h1n1, or are you just guessing that now? If he was well enough to go to class, I don't think it's unreasonable to have him WATCH practice. You sound like NP without the power.

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  • March 10, 2014 - 8:24 pm

    "Hey coach, sorry to bug you on a Sunday night but my son is physically drained and will miss the next week of practice. He will see you a week from Monday" I agree this is pretty funny now that I know it was satire. Nobody could be that out of touch with high school athletics.

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  • NicoleMarch 11, 2014 - 8:42 am

    There have been many complaints against Crawford as a coach and a teacher for years and the school board has been well aware of them. They have overlooked them because their mentality is to sweep everything under the rug. Apparently they forgot to tell Nancy Peterson that's how we do things in DJUSD. Thank you to Nancy Peterson for finally standing up for our students. May your former colleagues find the courage to do the same!

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  • RKMarch 11, 2014 - 10:16 am

    An undocumented allegation designed to further muddy the waters. If any situation demands complete and precise truth, it is this one. Nancy chose to pressure the administration to remove at least two of the volleyball coaches and her complaints center on violations of transportation and dress code rules. It was her husband that filed a grievance when her daughter was cut from the team. Nancy chose to vote on the coach's removal and then chose to resign when there was community backlash. It doesn't appear she is standing up for any one else except herself and, maybe, her family. Please don't say that there are multiple complaints against the coach unless you can provide documentation of this.

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  • More FactsMarch 11, 2014 - 4:29 pm

    Nicole, I'm not sure what gets swept under the rug. We have kicked out / fired 5 or more coaches the past few years, a principal, and several administrators. An argument can be made that we have too many spoiled kids who were given a sense of entitlement. Counting all students, we're over 2,000, so I guess if we made 2 official high schools, we could double the opportunities in some areas, but at what cost? The entitlement culture is so bad that even the cheerleading coach quit!

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  • Charlie BrownApril 09, 2014 - 3:05 pm

    Good job Nicole! Noone else understands but think they do....

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  • More FactsMarch 11, 2014 - 10:24 am

    More Facts are coming to light in this little drama. Miss Glasgow incorrectly states that "The independent conclusion was retaliation." Writer Chris Saur of The Enterprise quoted from a DJUSD letter: ”more likely than not, Coach Crawford’s decision to cut *redaction* Peterson from the varsity volleyball team was influenced, at least in part, by Coach Crawford’s feelings about Nancy Peterson.” We now learn from Jeff Hudson that this letter also included this: "at the same time (the investigator) does not find that coach Crawford acted with “willful mal-intent” to harm (the Petersons’ daughter)." Those are a lot of qualifiers. More likely than not, at least in part, and there was no mal-intent.

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  • RKMarch 11, 2014 - 10:33 am

    I understand that the report was 72 pages long (and cost the District $22,000). I'm sure that there is much more information in the report that we don't know.

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  • Napoleon Pig IVMarch 11, 2014 - 10:35 am

    Perhaps if the District had paid the lawyers an extra $10,000 or so, the language of the report could have been more definitive. After all, you get what you pay for.

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  • More FactsMarch 11, 2014 - 11:10 am

    Are you aware that the report billed 99 hours, which is a peculiar number to land on. Let me guess, was the directive to have a report for under 100 hours? We also are awaiting information on how thorough the investigation was of former volleyball coach Ms. Leigh Whitmire Choate in her complaint filed against Nancy Peterson several years ago. Ms. Choate is on the record stating that Nancy Peterson asked several times for other coaches to be fired (removed), and that she felt that NP was micromanaging and meddling. Anyway, a messy situation for a 2-time Coach of the Year.

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  • March 11, 2014 - 6:18 pm

    I have been trying to keep an open mind on this mess. I was interested to read Ms. Glasgow's piece in support of Nancy Peterson...there just hasn't been much voice or support for the Peterson side (other than from the family themselves). However, Ms. Glasgow totally lost me when she made the comment about her kid being asked to come watch practice! Are you kidding me, you are calling that intimidation!! After this HUGE reach, it is clear that your whole piece has ZERO credibility! We are talking about "competitive" sports here, if you or your kid are that sensitive then go play Frisbee in the park! Maybe I'm old school, but you wouldn't even have to tell my kid to go watch practice, I would have told him myself or most likely he would have just gone without anyone telling him to do it. My son is in junior high and he has done this with his sports before. You are a member of a team, it is called being a good teammate! You owe it to the rest of the team to be prepared when you are ready to be back fully participating. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this whole thing and move on. If we truly have a bully coach, I think people would be coming out in full force against her. As Ms. Glasgow said, we are a little town, I just don't see how a coach exhibiting really poor behavior could get away with it. It seems more likely that we have a Bully parent who did not get her way and has gone out of her way to sully the coach's reputation.

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  • DarcyMarch 11, 2014 - 8:18 pm

    Both of my children played DHS sports and were expected to attend practice even if sick or injured. They also didn't get to start games after missing or sitting through practice, although they were both starters. This is called team discipline, where they learn it's not ALL about them. I'm sure you have heard there's no "I" in team. It sounds like you should keep your kids out of competitive sports...there are lots of things to do in Davis that you will find less objectionable!

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  • MichaelMarch 11, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    Oh, wah!

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  • March 11, 2014 - 10:02 pm

    "But we must challenge anyone in direct contact with our children who has taken his or her power to another level." Um, yeah, exactly the argument with how Nancy acted. I can't believe you didn't catch the irony of that comment!

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