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Oakville Coach Rick Seim 'bit into the wrong dog' this time, reader says


To the editor:

I had resolved myself to simply write off a very disappointing situation that our family experienced as my youngest son finished his senior year at Oakville Senior High School.

But that simply is not my nature. We have instilled in our sons the lesson that respect is earned, not deserved by age or position. It seems that some individuals at Oakville Senior High School and the Mehlville School District do not share this belief.

Coach Rick Seim had a communication problem with our son this past year. The mistake Mr. Seim then made was to carry his inability to communicate and behave properly into a conference with my wife, our son and me, where we were trying to resolve the the issue.

I won't bore you all with the blatantly false assertions and accusations he made about our son. We made it clear that we were not there to address differences in opinion or his innuendo campaign. We wanted to bring an end to the lack of civility and provide a forum for Coach Seim to earn back the respect of one of his players.

He showed his true colors when my wife insisted, after several requests, that the man communicate his upsets directly to our son and work out their differences. You know, sort of like an adult might do.

His response was to walk out of the meeting muttering that he "didn't have to put up with this.'' Perhaps he thought that this act of disrespect by the head coach of the baseball team and a tenured teacher would end the firestorm he had lit. But this time, Rick Seim, you bit into the wrong dog.

All we wanted was to clear the air be-tween our son and Coach Seim, something our son had attempted several times on his own. Coach Seim's response to our son was always the same: "If you don't like it, get the hell out of here and quit the team.''

Like our son, we were trying to attain a resolution and instead were rebuked. If that were not enough, Coach Seim further escalated the situation.

Not being one to idly sit by and permit such an injustice, I continued to communicate with Dr. Eric Knost, principal at Oakville Senior High School. All we requested was some form of apology. We were told that one would not be demanded of Coach Seim, because it would not be sincere if demanded and Mr. Seim did not feel one was needed.

So, we continued our requests, now to the Mehlville school board and the new superintendent for the district, Tim Ricker.

Our request was repeated through the summer, but to no avail. Our son dealt with three months of humiliation at the hands of Coach Seim. Mr. Seim then humiliated us as parents when he walked out on our meeting.

Now we were told that our request for an apology was merely an attempt at retribution. I would identify it as a weak admonishment for what Rick Seim had meted out. The Mehlville School District has met lesser offenses with more severe action.

Here we have a school district supporting a teacher who can't seem to communicate or behave responsibly. Ever wonder who or what runs the Mehlville School Dis-trict? My guess now is that the teachers' union is back in charge.

Hold tight to your pocketbooks.

Bradley Bauman

Oakville

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