Elkhart Community School District talks about the words a middle school coach used
Elkhart Community Schools stands by the way they handled a Northside Middle School basket ball coach using derogatory language.
The athletic director, Doctor Robert Woods, says this is first time Vicki Rogers, who has 30 years of teaching experience, has ever been under investigation.
As of Friday Rogers is suspended from coaching and was required to take sensitivity training.
“That’s why we are in this business for boys and girls and I’d hope that everything that we do our policies and so forth are aimed at helping boys and girls,” says Doctor Woods.
Doctor Woods says a coaches’ code of ethics and conduct was developed by the school board so that coaches have some guidelines.
“I think she wanted her girls to behave and she perhaps used the wrong way to try to get that message across,” says Doctor Woods.
Doctor Woods is referring to Vicki Rogers’s comment to her 8th grade basketball team to quote “not act black.”
Her statement doesn't fall in line with the code of conduct.
Her choice of words landed her suspension from the team and sensitivity training.
“Sometimes I might offend someone with my words and I am not realizing that and so that is a part of the training also it’s not just what you say but how’s it being received by your audience,” says Doctor Woods.
Elkhart city’s Human Relations Commission will offer the training to Rogers at no additional cost to the school district.
“Everyone walks away with something it’s just whether or not they choose to implement it or realize it hey I might have a problem,” says Traci Dawson, the Human Relations Department Head.
Dawson provides the sensitivity training that the city offers.
In her 10 plus years of experience she says everyone is entitled to their own opinion but it’s how it gets communicated that matters.
“Make sure you don’t cast it onto somebody else or make it seem like this is the way it has to be. And that you are influencing or belittling someone because of what you believe,” says Dawson.
Doctors Woods says it has not been determined when Rogers’ suspension will end.
He also adds sensitivity training is not something all teachers and coaches are required to take but they do all take anti-bulling training.