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The very structure of school sports is a table setter for abuse

A scoreboard at a football field at the Duxbury High School Athletic Complex.John Tlumacki/GLOBE STAFF

After reading about the accusations of abusive behavior against since-fired Duxbury hockey coach John Blake (“Parents say they had raised alarm on coach,” Page A1, June 17), I could not help but think that in high school athletics, we have a team model established in the early 1900s that promotes obedience as an attribute and the medieval adage “children should be seen and not heard” as its North Star. These twin foundational pillars for so-called educational athletics are the table setters for abuse.

This sports culture does not even allow world-class Olympic gymnasts and swimmers to question adults who control them, so what hope is there for an average high school athlete?


This model of a sports team, supported by local taxes, school districts, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, needs significant revisions to keep up with a 21st-century education.

Mitch Lyons


The writer is the founder and retired president of GetPsychedSports.org and the Social Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts.