Topic: Sports & Entertainment

Too Unethical to Coach, but Not to Teach

Here, in a nutshell, is why so many students cheat.

A videotape showed that assistant coach Paul Bryan had improperly moved a marker to allow his San Pedro High football squad gain an illegitimate first down on a critical fourth-down play late in a game against Gardena High School. It worked: San Pedro, which is south of Los Angeles, scored to win the game, 13-12.

But Bryan was “caught on tape” as the TV ads like to say, and San Pedro’s principal, Dana Gelb, was aghast. She suspended him for “at least” a year.

So far so good, but here’s the surprise: he’s still teaching at the school!

Here are the only reasons for this that the Scoreboard could come up with:

  1. Bryan is apparently a “special ed” teacher, and at San Pedro, ‘special ed” is a euphemism for “cheating.”
  2. Gelb believes that cheating in football only counts in football.
  3. The school had to suspend him once he was caught, but really, that Gardenia High team had it coming.
  4. The school is seriously confused.

The Scoreboard votes 4).

No teacher who has been shown to have cheated on anything has any business instructing students. His ethical compass is suspect, and his continued employment sends clear messages that the seriousness of cheating depends on the context, and that anyone can get caught cheating once and not suffer too much as a result. Wrong, and wrong. One instance of cheating is enough to get you expelled from most colleges and fired from most jobs, except, it seems, at San Pedro High.

The high school’s handling of this matter may ensure less cheating on the football field, but it will not do a thing for honesty in the classroom.

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