The Woodward News

Letters to the Editor

February 21, 2006

Mrs. Alayna Leppke

Editor, The News

I'm in favor of school spirit and for cheering loudly for your home team, but how far is too far? Shattuck High School went too far last Saturday night at the Class B Regional Basketball Playoffs in Taloga.

During the Shattuck vs. Corn Bible game, a young lady from Corn Bible had the misfortune of shooting an air ball while attempting a three-point shot. This happened in the first minute of the game and for rest of the entire game, the Shattuck crowd harassed and taunted her mercilessly. The Shattuck crowd relentlessly yelled names at the other Corn Bible players, as well as at the referees. I have never seen such appalling behavior from a crowd at a high school basketball game, and I am definitely not new to basketball.

I teach high school students at Lookeba-Sickles High School (a class B school between Hinton and Binger, Okla.) and I also serve as the cheerleading sponsor. I believe that one of my jobs as an Oklahoma educator is not only to enable my students to excel academically, but to also teach them how to be young men and women of integrity-productive, caring, and responsible citizens. This includes having good sportsmanship.

In fact, good sportsmanship is important to the OSSAA, according to their website. OSSAA basketball rule XXI.d. clearly states that the spectators at a game should "show compassion for an injured player; applaud positive performances; not heckle, jeer or distract players, and avoid use of profane and obnoxious language and behavior." The administrators and coaches at Shattuck Public Schools should be reprimanded for not abiding by OSSAA rules.

I appeal to the superintendent, administrators, school board, and teachers at Shattuck High School to stop encouraging their students to use unsportsmanlike conduct. I challenge Shattuck students to stop harassing the opposing team's players and to write a letter of apology to Corn Bible Academy. I plea with the OSSAA and with the referees to not allow this kind of degrading behavior from Shattuck or any other team at the Class B Area Tournament in and around Woodward this weekend. As the OSSAA says: "Sportsmanship is everyone's the right thing!"

Mrs. Alayna Leppke

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Letters to the Editor