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Did board overreach?

ERIC FREEMAN • May 21, 2014 at 8:52 AM

The Johnson City Board of Education voted last week on a policy to restrict current employees from working as coaches in competing school systems. The policy specifically dictates that employees cannot coach in a school system other than Johnson City even if they are volunteering their time. Since when do we tell people where they can earn money or volunteer their time? Apparently the Johnson City Board of Education thinks it is allowed to do this, which is troubling considering that the last time we had laws like this we ended up having a Civil Rights movement to get rid of those laws. What message is the School Board sending by wasting taxpayer money to even consider such a policy? The argument given by Kathy Hall, chairwoman of the board, is that there are coaching positions needing to be filled, and the system would like to fill those positions with people already working in the system. That is a good idea. However, in the United States of America we pride ourselves on freedom to choose. Obviously school board members think they have the right to restrict the rights of their employees. This does not seem very patriotic to me. This policy does not make sense for several reasons. There are only three individuals who work for Johnson City Schools who coach in other school districts. Are they really having such a hard time finding coaches that the School Board feels the need to restrict three employees? I applaud the three coaches who are willing to devote their time to the young people of the region that happen to live a few miles further down the road than the school board would like. After all, isn’t coaching about something greater that just wins and losses? ERIC FREEMAN Johnson City

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