Letter from LCHS Principal Ben Cairns, 9/8/2016
The following letter will also go out to LCHS parents this evening via email.
September 8, 2016
Dear LCHS Parents & Families:
I hope this finds you well. I am writing today to make you aware of recent events involving two of our athletic teams, as well as our response to these events. Within the past week, members of both our boys’ football and soccer teams have been involved in physical fights during games. The boys’ soccer team’s altercation with the Jefferson High School team on Wednesday evening has received both media and social media coverage. In both cases, Lake County athletes have been ejected and/or suspended from games.
I want to state unambiguously that we have high standards of conduct for our student athletes and everyone associated with our athletic programs, and these events do not represent who we want to be, and who we want our students to be, at Lake County High School. No matter the level of frustration a student may be experiencing, we never condone physical violence as a solution or outlet. We support the consequences for our athletes’ actions that officials and others, including the Colorado High School Activities Association, have and may put in place.
We are also actively working on our own response to these events to emphasize our sportsmanship standards. We met with the soccer team today to hold them accountable for their behavior and to help them learn. In addition to several suspensions for upcoming games, our students will work in practice this week on anger management and de-escalation skills. Additionally, we will be traveling to Jefferson in the next few weeks for a Restorative Justice circle, as well as some joint community service between the two teams. Finally, we are using this moment as a collective learning opportunity to more deeply understand sportsmanship and the impact of our actions on our community; we will be talking about and learning from this event in community meetings and crew.
Events like the ones we’ve experienced in the past few days are difficult and embarrassing for all involved. Though we never wish for events like these, they do present an opportunity to clarify who we are and what we stand for. In this case, we have an opportunity to redefine what sportsmanship looks like at Lake County High School, as well as to work with student athletes to clearly define the character and behavior we bring to games that tells other communities what it means to be a Lake County Panther.
I welcome any feedback you have about these events and our response, as well as anything else related to your student’s experience at LCHS. Please feel free to contact me by calling my cell phone, 719-293-1232, or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Cairns, Principal
Lake County High School