Lord of the Rings no championship bling

I happily covered my alma mater’s run to the class 4A football championship but sadly I am not surprised to see another self-inflicted public relations wound courtesy of a very controversial school principal. I expressed my concerns about Mr Verlander two or so years ago after an excellent teacher was fired for refusing to change the grade of a donor’s son so frankly this does not surprise me. The reader comments sum up popular opinion of the alumni with most being very concerned about the damage being done the school by the current administration. Jim Mashek and Al Jones had this story hung on the front page of yesterday’s Sun Herald:

Members of the St. Stanislaus Class 4A state championship Rockachaws football team would love to have championship rings to commemorate the experience, but school policy forbids it.

St. Stanislaus principal Paul Verlander sent a letter to Rockachaws’ coaches, players and parents recently stating that commemorative rings to celebrate accomplishments, including state championships, are not in line with school policy.

“The reasoning behind this policy is that our sports, like all of our programs, academic and extracurricular, exist for the purpose of formation of our boys’ character and development of their gifts,” Verlander said. “It’s not for the purpose of records, or championships, or particularly material reward. A championship ring is no mere token; these items are expensive, regardless of who is paying.”

Jeff Favre, father of Rockachaws’ record-setting quarterback Dylan Favre, disagrees with the school’s policy.

“I believe these kids deserve rings — that’s customary and traditional,’’ he said. “It’s a common practice when you win state championships. What these kids achieved … they deserve rings.”

Several other parents are upset at the decision, but declined to comment on the issue.

Verlander is quick to point out that members of other state championship teams won by SSC teams, in sports such as soccer and powerlifting, have not received commemorative rings for their feats. SSC has also won statewide competition in robotics, an academic pursuit.

Verlander is wrong about the soccer team not receiving championship rings as was pointed out in the reader comments to the story.