Nation & World News

Did Bullying Claim After 91-0 Game Do More Harm Than Good?

By Mark Memmott on October 24th, 2013

Sports talk shows and news outlets have been all over the story of a Texas parent who filed a complaint about bullying after his son’s high school football team lost a game last week by the score of 91-0.

If you haven’t heard about what happened during that game, here’s how Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram sums up the story:

“Aledo [High School] beat Fort Worth Western Hills 91-0 at home, pushing its season scoring pace to 69.3 points a game and running its undefeated record to 7-0. In four District 7-4A games against Fort Worth schools, the Bearcats have outscored their opponents by an average of 77 points per game.”

CBS Local in Dallas/Fort Worth says Aledo kept scoring even though its coach, after seeing his team score 56 points by halftime, “began actively trying to keep the score down, subbing in backup players, letting the clock run continuously, and instructing players to make fair catch calls.”

Western Hills coach John Naylor had no problem with the way Aledo played. “We just ran into a buzzsaw,” he told the Star-Telegram. “[Aledo] just plays hard. And they’re good sports, and they don’t talk at all. They get after it, and that’s the way football is supposed to be played in Texas.”

But an unidentified parent did have an issue with what happened, and filed a complaint with the Aledo school that the CBS Local station says alleges “we all witnessed bullying firsthand, it is not a pretty sight.”

Wednesday, Aledo coach Tim Buchanan said his district has investigated and found “no grounds” for the bullying charge.

The game and the bullying allegation, as we said, have caused much discussion. Even widely quoted legal scholar Jonathan Turley has weighed in, writing that “it is not unsportsmanlike or bullying to play a game to a lopsided conclusion. It is called life. This is just one of its lessons.”

One line of thought from many critics of the parent’s complaint is that bullying can be deadly — leading in some cases to young victims taking their lives. An accusation about a lopsided football game could make it look like bullying isn’t a serious problem, they say. It also could be disrespectful to bullying’s victims.

We wonder what everyone thinks.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Wandsworth prison in south London in a 2010 photo. Neil Moore, a 28-year-old convicted fraudster, walked out of the prison earlier this month by showing guards a bail letter he'd forged.

British Fraudster Walks Out Of Jail Using Forged Bail Letter

The man, who was serving time for a $2.7 million fraud, simply showed guards the letter and walked free. He later changed his mind and turned himself back in to authorities.


A window sticker on a downtown Indianapolis florist shop this week shows its objection to the Religious Freedom bill passed by the Indiana legislature.

Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Sparks Firestorm Of Controversy

When Gov. Mike Pence signed a law that allows his state’s businesses to refuse to serve same-sex couples, he could hardly have anticipated the dramatic backlash he’s received.


Yemen's President Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi speaks during the opening meeting of the Arab Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, south of Cairo, on Saturday.

Arab Airstrikes Against Yemen Reportedly Could Continue For Months

At a summit in Egypt, the embattled Yemeni President Abed Raboo Mansour Hadi also described Houthi rebels as “puppets of Iran.”


Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, left, and opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, right, prepare to sign a renewal of their pledge to hold peaceful "free, fair, and credible" elections, at a hotel in the capital Abuja, Nigeria, on Thursday.

Amid Violence, Nigerians Go To The Polls To Choose A President

Incumbent Goodluck Jonathan faces off against former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari in what is being described as the closest contest in the history of the West African country.


A German police investigator carries a box after searching an apartment believed to belong to the crashed Germanwings flight 4U 9524 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in Duesseldorf, on Thursday.

Pilot Who Downed Airliner Vowed ‘To Do Something’ To Be Remembered

Andreas Lubitz is believed to have locked the pilot of the Germanwings Flight 4U 9524 out of the cockpit before deliberately putting the aircraft into a fatal descent.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments