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          Balance of Power

          June 20, 2003

          Are you unknowingly allowing your children to enter into harm’s way? As parents, when we place our most precious resource ” our children ” in the care of people we don’t know much about, should we be asking questions and becoming more active in managing those who supervise them?

          A Preventable Death?
          Craig was a high school football star with great promise. One day, after a grueling practice, he collapsed from heatstroke and died. The school’s investigation concluded there was no wrongdoing. Craig’s parents believe that there were warning signs that should have been acted on.

          Making Someone Accountable
          Alan and Sherry lost their 17-year-old son, Travis, in a similar tragedy. They charge that their son’s coaches neglected to follow the school district’s own rule limiting how many hours players should practice, resulting in Travis’ death from heatstroke. The couple made headlines when they decided someone should be held accountable and filed a lawsuit against the school district and state athletic association.

          Suing for Failing Grades
          When Liz received failing grades because of her absences, her mother Betsy tried to sue the school district and 11 of its teachers. Betsy insists, “This is not about truancy. Liz was ill and in an automobile accident.” The vice principal says, “High school has two objectives: to prepare students for college and the world of work. Part of the world of work is getting to work on time and going to work every day.” The lawsuit was thrown out of court.

          Shattered Self-image
          Annie, 24, says she can’t get the voice of her ballet teacher out of her head. “I was in her class for three-and-a-half years,” explains Annie. “On a daily basis, we were all called fat and heavy. It’s been eight years since I’ve been out of that particular class and it still affects me. It’s part of my inner dialogue. I still hear her voice [saying] I’m no good, fat and stupid.”

          The Thong Controversy
          When Rita Wilson, a high school vice principal, lifted the skirts of female students entering a dance to see if they were wearing thong underwear, the incident made headlines. Rita claims she was trying to prevent something called “freak dancing.” Students say they were humiliated by the public inspections and enraged parents want her fired. Rita has been demoted and reassigned but has appealed the decision.

          Related Resources

          If you wish to donate to the scholarship funds created in memory of Craig Lobrano and Travis Stowers, the high school football players whose stories were featured on this show, you may do so at the following addresses:
          Donations in honor of Craig Lobrano:
          Friends of Craig Lobrano
          Memorial Scholarship Fund
          P.O. Box 721
          Sandston, VA 23150

          Donations in honor of Travis Stowers:
          FFA Scholarship Fund
          c/o National FFA Foundation
          P.O. Box 68960
          Indianapolis, IN 46268

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