Bullying | Education | Football (American) | News

Montana High School Coach Resigns as Six Football Players are Suspended for Bullying Incident

The coach of Kalispell, Montana's Glacier High School football team has resigned and six freshman football players have been suspended over a post-game  bullying incident on a bus that the coach was driving. Specific details of the incident have not been released.

Glacier KCFW reports:

School officials say the incident occurred on the team bus as they returned home from an away game in Missoula. All six players allegedly involved were also kicked off the team. The team’s head coach, who administrators say was driving the bus, has resigned from his position. Administrators won't give specific information about what happened on the bus other than to say several students were physically bullied. Kalispell School District Superintendant Darlene Schottle says they've made a big push this year to prevent incidents like this from occurring. She says the students knew better.

The Daily Interlake adds:

“It was determined that in a freshmen football bus on the way home from a game there were some students involved in some harrassment/bullying/intimidation-type of action,” Schottle said Wednesday. The incident was first reported in Tuesday’s Kalispell Police Department blotter, when the grandmother of a girl who witnessed the event reported it to both the police and the school.

According to Schottle, there were six students suspected of participating in the incident, with an unspecified number of students being the victims. Those six students have been suspended and kicked off the football team, although that action is open to appeal by the parents. “As far as I know there are no charges with the police,” Schottle said. “It’s up to the parents if they choose to do that.” The Kalispell Police Department received two more calls regarding the incident Wednesday, one from the father of a student who said he had more inforamation, but details of what took place in the incident have not been made public.

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  1. But...but...we're constantly being told that sports builds character. So how can this be? Obviously any allegations that football players lack character, or even basic decency, is an al Qaeda plot to destroy American values. And I'm sure Rick Perry will be telling us so the moment this story gains any national traction.

    Posted by: jomicur | Sep 15, 2011 10:49:34 AM

  2. The most concerning part is the level of severity this bullying must have reached if it caused a coach to resign, six players to be kicked off the team, and no one is releasing the details. If it can't be described even in terms of "punches and kicks" or "assault", then I can't imagine what really happened...

    Those poor kids...

    Posted by: luminum | Sep 15, 2011 11:16:05 AM

  3. Why was there a girl on the bus? It would help to know the exact [and real] details before passing judgment.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 15, 2011 11:27:45 AM

  4. This sounds really, really, bad. Officials saying nothing speaks volumes to the worst.

    Posted by: Gunga Dean | Sep 15, 2011 11:28:18 AM

  5. Organized sports have no place in our school systems. Hasn't decades of corruption with grade inflation and bad behavior given us enough evidence? If your community wants sports teams, then let your town pay for it and run them independently of the school system.

    Colleges are even worse. My alma mater had Division C (as in, um, not that great) teams and spent millions on a new athletic/training facility...while science and computer labs were filled with out of date and broken equipment.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Sep 15, 2011 12:14:25 PM

  6. As a gay kid who played golf and bowling in HS for four years (and also carried a 3.99 GPA on a 4.0 scale [with no chance for bonus points, mind you] ), leading to getting a 4-year-scholarship based on my merits in both, I take *severe* umbrage at your statement, Q...

    And the idea of "pay for play"? Yeah, we started that about my senior year of HS (under the guise of a "transportation fee")...and while I figured that property taxes and the like would cover the costs of gas and wear on the buses...I guess it wasn't the case O_o

    Posted by: Cody | Sep 15, 2011 12:37:27 PM

  7. Not much of a story: something happened to some kids on a bus. Uh, ok.

    Posted by: Shane | Sep 15, 2011 12:39:29 PM

  8. @Shane - Not much of a story because no details were released. A coach resigned because of the incident and six kids were kicked off the football team. Something pretty major had to have happened for that result!

    Posted by: Gigi | Sep 15, 2011 1:03:13 PM

  9. @Gigi - That a high school football coach resigned because of an incident on a bus -- an incident that, as of yet, has no LGBT angle whatsoever -- is not newsworthy and shouldn't be taking up space on this blog.

    Posted by: Aiden | Sep 15, 2011 1:10:37 PM

  10. @ QJ201
    As a bisexual kid who played sports in school I disagree with your post. I ran track, soccer, and cross country and am part of my universities martial arts & soccer team & have seen the good sports can do for people at that age & any. When I was first questioning things I left sports & my grades dropped. I was miserable & angry. I actually came out to one of my friends & a coach first before I did my family, and they were more accepting than my parents. Getting back into them saved me from a heavy time in my life. Did we have teasing & bullying at my high school, yes, but in our case it came from kids who weren't involved in any activities at all. In some cases, yeah there are kids who end up on sports teams that are generally ill mannered in the first place with disgusting coaches as well. We had a kid who was ill adjusted who joined our soccer team who turned around by the end of the school year.

    And just because you think making sports just a township thing dosen't mean that it'll help. In fact, it could make it worse being that there would be less people to report an incident to. Do I agree with fees? Yes, it helps. If you have to pay to play it helps make sure you're there for actual proper sportsmanship & not just fool around.

    Do I think schools need to have better requirements to join & stay on a team? Yes. We had to keep a 3.1 to stay on and have outstanding citizenship. Some schools only look at grades but I think behavior needs to be factored in as well. Do I think coaches need better training & qualifications? Yes.

    So no, don't remove sports

    Posted by: Lex | Sep 15, 2011 1:14:30 PM

  11. Sports should be the first thing to be cut. If you can't excel or find fulfillment in arts and sciences, well that's a shame, but that's what schools are for. Maybe it's your fault, maybe it's the faculty's fault, but, if they're not reaching every child, that just means those programs need the money all the more. You want to play sports, there's plenty of opportunities outside of school.

    And, since no one else has said it yet: obviously those boys sexually assaulted at least one other boy, if not outright raped somebody. You could spend a day compiling similar stories of high school students in sports teams doing the same across the country in just the past ten years. Tragic, but tragically not the least bit shocking.

    Posted by: ohplease | Sep 15, 2011 1:24:17 PM

  12. @ OHPLEASE - It sure does sound like an assault of an "unspeakable" nature.

    Posted by: Gunga Dean | Sep 15, 2011 1:50:55 PM

  13. "Organized sports have no place in our school systems"

    "Sports should be the first thing to be cut"

    Oh look, everybody, a couple of big ol' sissies who hate sports! Who'd a thunk it?

    I wonder how they would feel about cutting Glee-like musical groups instead....

    No, check that, I don't wonder.....

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 15, 2011 1:59:49 PM

  14. Grow up people - Clearly something went on in that bus that involved a football team, and I'm sure in time we'll learn more, but why would you people suggest sports should be banned because they have no place in schools?

    There are plenty of GLBT folks who love sports at all levels of play. Much can be learned by playing sports.

    Good god - get over yourselves!

    Posted by: Fred | Sep 15, 2011 2:13:40 PM

  15. Wow. This story is such a non-issue, I don't even know why it was posted. Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill!

    Posted by: OMNOMNOM | Sep 15, 2011 2:31:24 PM

  16. What OhPlease said.

    It will turn out that some boys sexually assaulted some other boy(s). Homophobia contributed to the attack. Homophobia explains the "sensitive handling" of the story.

    It's ugly, and it's wrong, and "the homosexual agenda" will be blamed by many. You just watch.

    Posted by: BobN | Sep 15, 2011 3:39:35 PM

  17. This is an outrage! And all some of you can think about is yourself. What about the poor victims? Raped and brutilized, forever scarred. Ever stop to think how they are feeling or you too busy weeping and wailing about "gay" persecution?

    Posted by: chris | Sep 15, 2011 7:10:22 PM

  18. Word on the street here in Kalispell is that the assult was sexual in nature.

    Posted by: Kalires | Sep 16, 2011 12:24:47 AM

  19. I grew up in Polson, which is smack dab between Kalispell & Missoula. HS football is taken very seriously and so if a coach resigned and six players were suspended, then it was pretty serious. It was a football bus, so the likelihood of any woman being on board is probably close to zero.

    Also, this is Andy & Co's blog, he posts things that interest him. If you don't like it you can always move on. I for one appreciate the diversity of posts here.

    Posted by: Odsbjorn | Sep 16, 2011 2:07:26 AM

  20. @QJ

    I agree with you. I carried a high GPA, I actually did play sports--you know to make colleges think I was well rounded--and I don't think with school budgets being what they are that they have a place in an EDUCATIONAL environment.

    If your school has TONS of money or some wonderful benefactor then..okay, but most schools do not.

    Rather than put money into educating teachers in different learning techniques or buying smart boards and things that really help children learn, they are piling on homework and taking that extra money and putting into athletics.

    When schools have an abundance of money, I'll change my mind.

    --Oh, and aggressive behavior increases aggressive behavior. Full contact sports encourage aggression. If I knew how to link on here I would show studies about this.

    It's not like the "golf" club someone mentioned or baseball.

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 16, 2011 8:54:59 AM

  21. ODSBJORN - wow...I grew up in Polson too. Small world. If I recall, at least when I was in high school there, the cheerleading squad also rode the same bus with the teams to away games. That might explain why gals were on the "football bus".

    Posted by: jay_max | Sep 16, 2011 9:36:09 AM

  22. My son is a freshman at Glacier and had told me about this. This is the first year he did't play football and I was a bit dissapointed, but it is his choice. He has grown up with these kids and what he has told me is very chilling. I also find it quite disturbing how little the local news has talked about it.

    Posted by: chris | Sep 16, 2011 10:45:30 AM

  23. @RIN

    "Oh, and aggressive behavior increases aggressive behavior. Full contact sports encourage aggression. If I knew how to link on here I would show studies about this"

    It is called being male.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 16, 2011 11:33:10 AM

  24. As a mom and resident of Kalispell we are very upset about what happened. Several BOYS were raped on the bus by other boys. they should be sent to an alternative school and have their head examined. Sick kids. that is why the news never wants to report what really happened, they tell us only what they want us to know.

    Posted by: Michelle | Sep 16, 2011 11:37:11 AM

  25. "This is an outrage! And all some of you can think about is yourself. What about the poor victims? Raped and brutilized, forever scarred. Ever stop to think how they are feeling or you too busy weeping and wailing about "gay" persecution?"

    First of all, that's an odd characterization of this discussion.

    But, yes, there is concern about '"gay" persecution'. When this sort of thing happens, it's often the boys who appear "gay" who are the victims. The idea that homosexuality is so awful plays a powerful role in the bullies' choice to inflict homosexual rape on the victims, as opposed to a beating. Also, there are plenty of folks out there who will assert that the rapists are gay and that this is an example of what gay people do.

    In the mess that is this homophobic society, all these issues are intertwined.

    Posted by: BobN | Sep 16, 2011 3:41:52 PM

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