Saturday, March 14, 2009

Softball update

Below is an email I just received. After it is my response:

A friend just emailed me a copy of your December 30th Blog about Social Rights and Joann's situation with softball. In this you say, "The board ruled Allister will be told to adhere to Ed Code rules – like letting athletes stay properly fueled and hydrated for competition." and "Those in support of gay marriage are hoping the men and women in black robes do for gay marriage what they did for desegregation and equal rights on the ball field. "

It might behoove you to investigate your facts before you say something that is hurtful and totally untrue. And it is rather ironic that you would say something like this in an article about people's rights and the violation of those rights. The fact is that the investigation of Joann and her athletes being "fueled" and "hydrated" totally cleared her of those charges. 14 athletes were interviewed about the alleged incident, and 1 athlete said that food and water was withheld. 13 others refuted the charge. The team parents provided food and water on every single occasion during the softball season. There was food and water in the dugout every single day of the year. And interestingly enough, the disgruntled young lady (and her family) who brought that charge and lied about it all, later is quoted as saying that on the day in question, she was sitting on the water bucket behind the dugout at North Valleys where the water had been moved to be in the shade.

I would expect more from you than this. You have a responsibility to print the truth, and if you are unsure of the truth, you have a journalistic responsibility to check sources. Naturally, if you cannot confirm a story, you also have an ethical and moral responsibility to do what is right and not defame a totally innocent person. The real story here is the "witch hunt" in this community that was right out of The Crucible, and now, I find it sad to say, you are part of it.

I think it will be interesting to see how you handle this. From everything I have heard about you, you are a nice, ethical person. Joann deserves a heartfelt apology, and it will be interesting to see if you are a "good" enough person to do so. I hope you are a person with the character to admit that you made a terrible and hurtful mistake.

Derek Allister

Derek and Joann,

First, I called Joann and never got a response. So I did do my due diligence in trying to get her side of the story.

At the time the original blog was posted the comments I had from the school district in regards to allegations brought forth from parents as well as comments made to me from parents were in part about not feeling like the players had ample time to consume the quanties of water or food they wanted. Without Joann's comments, yes, it's one sided. But I tried to get her side. It was the truth as I knew it.

I am glad you have written to clarify the matter. At no time was I on a witch hunt. I'm guessing you are referring to the non daily daily paper. I was trying to seek the truth. I am sorry if either or both of you feel wronged for what I have written.

The reference in my original blog about the Supreme Court and ball fields had to do with Title IX.

I am happy to be able to publish your email now and hope that it will serve to clarify the matter for everyone.


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