DR. WALLACE: At the end of our football season, we had our football banquet in our high school cafeteria. One of the assistant coaches brought in a few cans of beer and drank them with his meal. But he also gave a few sips to a couple of the team members. The next day, one of the parents called the school and complained that her son was one of the players given beer. She was demanding to speak with the coach and insisted that he should be fired.
The coach is a very popular P.E. teacher and a great coach. Do you think that he should be fired, or do you think he should be warned never to do that again, but allowed to remain as a coach? Most of the players think that he should be given a warning never to do that again because everybody is entitled to make a mistake one time. No one is perfect. — Nameless, New York, N.Y.
NAMELESS: The coach brought beer on the campus (error no. 1) and consumed it (error no. 2) and provided it to some of the football players (error no. 3), and should be released as a coach and teacher. This coach showed extremely poor judgment. Teachers are supposed to set an example for students, not contaminate them.
MOM SAYS MY JOB IS MOST IMPORTANT
DR. WALLACE: I babysit for three different mothers about once a week each, and this gives me about $25 to $30 a week spending money. I really enjoy sitting for the children, and I'm a really good sitter. I'm very conscientious and take my job seriously. I have completed the Red Cross babysitting course.
Yesterday, one of the mothers called while I was at school and asked my mom if I could babysit for her from 4 p.m. to about 8 p.m. As usual, my mother told her I could.
When I got home from school, my mom gave me the news. The problem is that I already had promised my best friend that I would go shopping with her to help her find a dress for her brother's wedding. I canceled the shopping trip and went to my babysitting job.
This has happened before. I keep telling my mom not to say yes until she talks with me. All she has to say is, "I'll find out if Karla is free and someone will call you shortly." That way, mom could call school and leave a message for me to call home as soon as possible. But my mom doesn't want to do that because she thinks nothing is more important than doing my job. I'd like to hear your view. — Karla, Hammond, Ind.
KARLA: I agree with you that before Mom gives the OK, you should be contacted. Babysitting is an important responsibility, but there are some things that are more important (doing well in school is one; maintaining good health is another). And keeping a promise is also important. If the dress shopping tour could have been delayed a day or two, you could have fulfilled your role as a competent babysitter. If it was impossible to change the shopping day, you should have honored your promise and helped your friend pick out a dress for her brother's wedding.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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