A youth football coach’s way of dealing with team bullying, while considerably tame, ended up getting him canned from his coaching position.
Todd Kennedy, who used to coached fourth through six graders at Durham Middlefield in Connecticut, confronted the accused bully in front of the team after the child bullying another teammate had become a repeat issue. He had the child run a few laps around the field and then commended the boy afterwards for his positive attitude regarding the punishment.
The league board, however, did not agree with Kennedy’s tactics, and he was suspended the following morning and fired this past Monday, with the board voting unanimously.
“[One of the board members] said, ‘Why did you feel that you were qualified to handle this bullying incident?’ I’m like, because I’m a father,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy’s two sons, who used to play for the team, will no longer be playing. They were joined by Shannon Riso’s son.
“Bullying is okay – that’s the message I got,” said Riso. “That’s why my son is not going to play for them. I want him to be around better role models than that.”