Tuesday, May 22, 2012

OK, It's A Little Odd, But Does This Merit Being Fired?

I don't get what motivates certain people.  Did this woman truly do something immoral, illegal, or against some rules?
The daughter-in-law of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, who has served as a volunteer high school track and field coach in Oregon, was fired on Monday after an investigation proved that she escorted a 17-year-old member of her boys track squad to the school's prom.

As reported by the Associated Press, 41-year-old Melissa Bowerman, the daughter-in-law of waffle-sole inventor Bill Bowerman, escorted an unnamed 17-year-old on the Condon (Ore.) High track team to the school's prom after the runner told her he lacked a date for the prom. Bowerman, who is married to 73-year-old co-coach Jon Bowerman and also has a son on the same team, told the AP that she offered to take the student to prom in part to motivate him to improve his grades in his English class.

"If they go on [academic] probation and suspension, then they can't go to the track meets," Melissa Bowerman told the AP. "I said, 'OK, I will go with you, but we've got to talk about English first. You're going to do better in English.'"

Bowerman insisted that she and her date only danced to "a couple" of slow songs and spent the rest of the evening playing ping pong and foosball. The student's father also said he was OK with the coach escorting his son because, "Melissa has been like a surrogate mom to these kids for years."
It's not a motivational method I myself would use, but if they weren't making out and the kid's parent had no issue, what exactly is the issue?


Happy Elf Mom said...

Thank you, Darren. I read this story myself and thought maybe I was on some alien planet, being the ONLY person in the world who thinks there is nothing wrong with a dance if it is obviously not sexual and parents/spouses in the situation are ok with it. Thank you for blogging this.

How many of us as little kids danced on our father/uncle's shoes? Or with our cousins at family weddings? I can vaguely see where prom organizers may wish to limit "dates" to age 19 or younger, but hm. No reason to make this coach feel she did something wrong in the least.

Steve USMA '85 said...

Let's see, she is 41. Her husband is 73. She escorted a 17-year old. I can't put my finger on exactly why I think this odd but something just doesn't smell right. Seems to be something missing from the story.

Grounds for firing, maybe not. Grounds for some intense scrutiny, definitely. Maybe she doesn't look at age the same as everybody else, but that may not be a good thing.