14
Jul
10

I guess not all lawsuits are frivolous but are these parents going a little too far?

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2 Responses to “I guess not all lawsuits are frivolous but are these parents going a little too far?”


  1. July 14, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    The parents of a state champion swimmer are suing the Rockwood School District, saying a counselor’s poor recommendation prompted a university to initially deny her admission and retract a scholarship offer.

    Peter and Marzie McCoy of Wildwood recently filed the lawsuit in St. Louis County Circuit Court after Colorado State University took back a scholarship offer to their daughter, Shannon, and rejected her as a student. The university has since reconsidered its decision after an appeal from the family.

    But the parents say they have opted to sue the Rockwood district anyway.

    “We want accountability and we want answers,” Marzie McCoy said. “Everything ended up well for Shannon. But we want to make sure this does not happen again. There are kids out there who didn’t have the high-profile career my daughter or her teammates have had, and I shudder to think what may have happened to them.”

    In the suit, the parents said that the incident sent them scrambling to find another college placement for their daughter. At that time, all of the competitive swimming schools had already promised their scholarships to other students, Marzie McCoy said.

    Shannon McCoy signed with Colorado State on a swimming scholarship last fall, turning down offers elsewhere. In March, Colorado State University denied her admission as a student, citing a recommendation form from a school counselor and academics, Marzie McCoy said.

    The recommendation form, signed by Lafayette High School counselor Beth Brasel, said that Shannon McCoy was “below average” in five personal traits including initiative, character, integrity and leadership.

    The McCoys said that the description of their daughter was “grossly inaccurate” and that Brasel had never met Shannon before the form was filled out.

    Rockwood spokeswoman Kim Cranston said it was the district’s understanding that the recommendation form had nothing to do with the rescinding of McCoy’s scholarship, based on their contact with a Colorado State University admissions officer.

    A message left Thursday for the admissions officer was not returned.

    Shannon McCoy was a leader on Lafayette’s swim team during her high school career, which included two state championship relay team titles. She graduated with a 3.0 grade point average and won numerous awards from the district and the Missouri State High School Activities Association.

    The scholarship at Colorado State will pay for about 80 percent of Shannon McCoy’s tuition, room and board, her mother said.

    Brasel and Lafayette High School principal John Shaughnessy are both named in the suit. Neither could be reached for comment.

    According to the complaint, the McCoys are seeking $75,000 from Rockwood for significant financial, emotional and psychological harm they say the district caused during the three-month period before Colorado State reversed its decision.

  2. July 14, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Boy, does this open up a can of worms. It would be inappropriate for me to speak directly about the above situation (in regards to the counselor or the athlete) since I do not have all the pieces to the puzzle. However, if a law suit like this were to go through, and an award be given, what would that mean for a teacher, coach, counselor, or administrator who was expected (or asked) to give a recommendation for an athlete they personally felt was lacking in “initiative, character, integrity and leadership.”

    Is the recommending individual expected to lie or smooth over their true feelings about the student athlete? If so, what does that say about the quality of the person’s recommendation if the recommended student becomes a problem or issue?

    If a coach of an athlete actually felt their student athlete lacked certain qualities would they be required to give a good recommendation anyway? If they chose not to, couldn’t they be sued as well? And if that coach just refused to give any recommendation wouldn’t that say the same thing as giving a poor one? Could the coach be sued for not giving a recommendation if the student athlete did not receive a scholarship for lack of this recommendation?

    There is more than the integrity and character of just the athlete at stake here.

    Sometimes we must step back pretty far from a situation in order to see its full ramifications. There is a bigger picture that must be addressed.


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