Letters to the Editor: A letter to the Encinal community

Letters to the Editor: A letter to the Encinal community

Letters to the Editor
Encinal High School

This letter was issued to Encinal High School families and staff and Alameda Unified School District staff, and submitted to The Alamedan for publication.

It is truly an honor to serve our students. As educators, it is our privilege to know each of them by name. Each day, we are grateful for the opportunity to come to Encinal High School – not because of brick and mortar – but because of the students who are the lifeblood of the Encinal community.

Encinal students are smart, funny, kind, compassionate, loud, silly, and beautiful. They are driven, focused, inspired, passionate, infuriating, ridiculous, and wonderful. But like all adolescents, they sometimes make mistakes, especially when their youth clouds their judgment and their emotions get the better of them. When that happens, we try to understand the behavior – but we do not condone it.

On Friday night, in a football game against Center High School, members of the Encinal team made a mistake. An egregious one. Following a hard, but legal, football play, one of our players reacted in an unsportsmanlike manner, leading to a fight on the field. Both benches cleared, a violation of California Interscholastic Federation rules. Most players who ran onto the field knew they shouldn’t. But they were acting to protect their teammates, to defend their brothers, to restore order. Unfortunately, in the moment, some also crossed well over the line of a CIF rules violation, becoming aggressors and sullying what Encinal High School stands for: scholarship, sportsmanship, and community.

It is much easier to stand by our students, or any teenager, when they do something great. However, it is when they struggle or make a mistake that they need us the most. And we will stand by them, by continuing to love and honor them, and by showing them, through the actions we take now as adults, that even if we love and support them, especially when we love and support them, there are consequences for one’s choices and impulsive actions.

The Encinal administration, athletic department and football program have conferred about what happened last Friday night and have decided that the varsity football team will forfeit its next game, the Island Bowl. We recognize the Island Bowl is part of the fabric of Alameda. We understand the sense of loss many will feel as a result of our decision to forfeit the game. But, as a community, we need to support each other by holding one another accountable and by taking steps, however difficult, to teach young people to make better choices and to take responsibility for their actions.

In addition, we have decided that:

• Active participants in the altercation will be disciplined by the school.
• All players who left the bench will receive a minimum of a one game suspension, pursuant to CIF rules.
• The school will endorse all other sanctions, penalties, and/or fines issued by the CIF.
• All members of the Encinal High School Football Varsity team will participate in community service with local organizations focused upon violence prevention.
• All proceeds of the gate from Friday night’s game will be given to the victims of the recent Alameda arson fires.

Please join us on Friday, October 3, at 6 p.m. when the Encinal High School junior varsity football team takes on the Alameda Hornets junior varsity squad in a celebration of high school athletics, our respective schools, and our community.

Kirsten Zazo, Amy Frey, Tracy Allegrotti, administration
Encinal High School

Micki Singer, athletic director
Encinal High School

Sean McPhetridge, interim superintendent
Alameda Unified School District

Ricky Rodriguez, head football coach
Encinal High School

Comments

Submitted by mae (not verified) on Mon, Oct 13, 2014

No. The school did not stand by the students. Instead they blame the students when the brawl would never had happened if the administration, HEAD coach, and staff had did their job and stopped the game beforehand when center high school football team were doing things to our players instead they did nothing. THE AUSD took the films but other got proof.The school and the team is not like it used to be. Family looking out for one another not anymore you have the principal and the new head coach for that.