Kids misled by AHS administration
During the regular basketball season this year, the Aberdeen ladies played the
Tumwater ladies at Sam Benn Gym. Included in the student body section with other students and
teammates were three young men from the AHS basketball team who were wearing referee jerseys and
standing in the front row, having a great time cheering the ladies on.
Apparently during the game, there were some rude and lewd comments made toward the
Tumwater ladies from a student or students that the Tumwater players believe were in the AHS student
body section. These comments were inappropriate and embarrassing to the whole Aberdeen student
The following day at Aberdeen High School, the three young men who were wearing the
referee jerseys were singled out (obviously, they stood out a little more than other students in
plain clothes) and called into the principal's office and before any of them could get a word in
otherwise, they were wrongfully accused, intimidated and interrogated.
When they finally had their turn to speak, all three emphatically denied the
accusations, so they were told by Principle Kathy Barner to bring in anyone they felt was around
them who would attest to their behavior.
That is what they attempted to do. When they left the office, they first ran into my
son, Ryan, who had stood next to them during the game for almost three quarters. After hearing what
had just happened to them, he offered to go in and tell the administrators that these three guys had
not said anything inappropriate and out of the ordinary for a cheering section.
But when he went in to defend them, he was deemed guilty by association (since he,
too, was a member of the boys basketball team) and was never given the opportunity to speak his
mind, so he was now also in trouble.
I joined with some of the other parents of these young men in a meeting the next
morning with the principal and Vice Principal Rocky Rocquin that lasted over an hour. We were told
that the Tumwater principal had called and told them that they had these three young men wearing the
jerseys on video and they could press sexual harassment charges against them. That seemed contrary
to the events that really took place since I spoke personally with the principal of Tumwater. He
indicated to me that he did not single out any individuals or what they were wearing but was told by
Mrs. Barner that she already had 13 potentially responsible kids and the matter was being
We also did some investigating ourselves and spoke with a number of kids who were
right in the area where the comments came from. We were told by all of them that it was not, in
fact, our kids and that it was actually some other students.
After repeated assurances from Mrs. Barner about the confidentiality with which this
matter would be dealt with (Mrs. Barner particularly offered a guarantee that mention of the
incident would not appear in The Daily World) we asked the administrators to please leave the
room and let us speak to our kids alone. We then told our kids that at some point in time, you have
to instill some faith in your administrators and let them do their job. Again, we were misled.
To make a long story short, the AHS administration made no attempt to properly
investigate the situation and right the wrong, and purposely twisted the facts, misleading our
children and us numerous times. What came out of this was the administration picked these
individuals out of the crowd to get their (butts) out of boiling grease in a hurry in order to try
to appease the Tumwater administrators, all at the expense of our children's reputation, not only in
school and with their coach but also in the community.
Our kids had their playing time reduced the next game, their names were in The
Daily World (and mentioned on the radio) saying they were held out of the game for violating
team conduct rules, and worst of all, they were let down and emotionally frazzled from the whole
If there is one good thing that came out of this it was the redirection of the
attention from the AHS ladies team to the boys.
So, I would like to thank the AHS administrators for destroying some qualities we've
all tried to instill in our kids. The only thing my son has learned from this is that not all
adults can be trusted to do the right thing and the only thing he has to look forward to (about
high school) is getting out.
We're sorry Ryan A., Seth, Ryan K. and Brandon.
You may think the timing of this letter is a bit late. However, we did feel we should
not take a chance with any more consequences toward the boys during the basketball season and
remaining school year.