opinion: Football brawl participants should remain a school issue, stay out of court system
It is our firm belief that charges brought against the three young men over the Huron/Pioneer football brawl should be dropped.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools handled the situation appropriately and it should remain a school issue. It was the coaches who demonstrated poor judgement that resulted in the brawl. If they had been better role models, the whole situation would not have escalated out of control. Both teams were given consequences and these coaches are no longer coaching.
It has been an increasing pattern these past years for public prosecutors to bring assault charges against players in professional leagues who intentionally injure another player. However we are not talking about professionals, but rather high school athletes; teens being caught up in the heat of the moment, and for the most part engaging in pushing and punching. This is properly a school matter to resolve. We feel that local law authorities bringing charges is completely out of proportion and an overreaction to the situation. It is wrong to subject young, often immature teenagers to the court system in this case, where a stigma of lawbreaker could follow them throughout life.
We also question how appropriate it is to charge only these three young men, all African American, when a great many others took part in the brawl. How can we not feel this has a tinge of racism. Regardless of race, these charges should be dropped. We do not condone fighting, but overreaction by bringing charges is an unsuitable reaction.
Courtney M. Bonam, PhD Victoria R. Cendrowski, MEd Dwight R. Cendrowski