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It seems like it was just a year ago. My Penn Hills Lady Indian Volleyball team decided to not go to Connellsville for a match in response to their act of intimidation following their verbal racial attacks on our soccer players. Oh, that’s right, it was a year ago.

It’s interesting what has happened since then. Many girls on my team didn’t remember all that happened just one year ago. Others, remembered clearly and were still affected by those events. We went to Connellsville this year and had a remarkably UNremarkable evening. We played them, we won a game but lost the match, and left. The same security guard was there that came to our gym last year toting what I would assume was the same gun. He, and what I would assume was the Athletic Director, stayed at a distance and never introduced themselves to me nor welcomed me. The coach and I exchanged pleasantries and chatted for a few minutes, not about the past year but about volleyball in general. However, one thing stood out. It was the other security guard.

I didn’t catch her name. I noticed her talking with a few of our girls. I saw them laughing with her. I was impressed with how engaging she was with my girls. She smiled, laughed, asked questions, and encouraged them more than once. She walked us out to the bus after the match and made sure we were all good to go. She thanked us for coming. She represented Connellsville well.

You see, Mr. Joseph Bradley (superintendent for Connellsville) that’s what you SHOULD have done. You should have represented Connellsville in a manner similar to your female security guard. She showed class, an interest in others, care for all types of kids. You do not show that.

In response to this year’s accusations (and findings) of racist comments against your players in a game against Allderdice here’s what you did. (I’m using the linked article as a reference)

  1. You denied them…again.
  2. You pointed the finger at the players YOUR players attacked and tried to deflect the blame.
  3. You hid behind your district’s attorneys until the findings came out.
  4. When the WPIAL did make a statement, you then stood and declared that there was no evidence found (contrary to the findings) and that YOUR players endured pain from what YOUR players said was said to them. (I’m amazed at how you believe that your players were verbally assaulted in retaliation for things you claim your players did not say, ).
  5. You state that the goal moving forward is to “avoid future accusations”…not future incidents or assaults. In your eyes, the accusations are the problem. How telling of you.
  6. Lastly, you list your claimed grievance “sexual orientation” ahead of that which you were accused of “race” in your closing statement, putting yourself ahead of others…yet again.

Here’s what you should have done, especially given the fact that this is the second time in two years that this has happened. You should have met with the AD who meets with the coaches. You have the coaches meet with the team. No one plays again until it is understood who made the racial slurs. If no one comes forward or no one is identified as having said it, season over. It would be clear moving forward that this was not ok. Once the player(s) are identified you initiate corrective action consistent with your district’s policies. THEN you can make a nice PR driven public statement about how this is not acceptable within your district, and people might believe you.

As it is, no one outside of Connellsville believes you. Many within it don’t believe you either. You have done nothing but sound like a horrifically stereotypical smarmy politician. You have hidden behind your legal team and the bureaucracy of the WPIAL. In the dark quiet moments of your heart, you know what you’ve done and more importantly what you could have done. You could have brought healing. You could have taught responsibility. You could have stood up against hate. You could have changed lives.

If only you would have done what you should have done.

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