Comments about ‘Wasatch High football coach Steve North charged with child abuse involving student’

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Published: Friday, March 18 2011 12:00 p.m. MDT

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Midway, UT

It is usually in the best interest of a journalist to find out both sides of the issue. The other side of the story is well worth looking into.
--The kid's police record
--what the poor baby said
--what the rest of the boys in the class said about the incident
--how his parents can't control him so keep passing him back and forth
--how there was no injury
--how it was an accident
--how the "child" didn't mind until his mommy heard about it and she screamed child abuse
Coach North coached/taught 2 of my boys and did a GREAT job. I haven't talked to him about this but the boys in that class told the story to my kids. They ALL had the same story supporting Coach North.

Heber, Utah

Whoa folks! I know many people are going to start freaking out about this right away. This headline is Hyperbole! I have students at Wasatch and have been following this since last week. Trust me, it's not what it seems. It's just one of those deals where a line was crossed and since now days there is no gray area, legally they had to do something to appease the parents of the child and those who were calling for his head. Most of us remember the days when we were growing up, and the P.E. coach would be rough or whatever, that is all that happened here. A student got out of line (really badly) and the coach tried to get him to conform until he lost his cool. Ya, he crossed a line, but to call it "child abuse" is riduculous!!! I actually miss those days when teachers/coaches could discipline students. I know when we were out of line, we were going to get put back in place quickly. Now days little Johnny and Susie know that they can get away with anything because Mommy and Daddy will sue for them! very sad!

Salt Lake city, UT

i was in high school not too long ago and i've seen the kinds of classroom behavior that sparks one of these incidents. i have no idea what happened so i'll reserve judgement, but if it turns out that the coach just flung a roll of athletic tape at a student who was persistently pushing the envelope then the parents (if they're even involved at all) need to lighten up and put some clamps down on their kid.

the district will take appropriate action and the coach will be reprimanded, but most times it's the kid or a group of kids that are almost always instigators. i'm not condoning what the coach did at all, but unless these "physical injuries" were sustained by the coach flat out beating, pushing, or throwing the kid around as opposed to just grabbing him by the arm and dragging him out of class then i see no reason why he'd lose a job over it.

utah County, UT

I agree with the above comments- there is a lot more to the story. Good luck Coach North- we'll be pulling for you!!

Somewhere, UT

So upset with this story I had better not comment.
I support Coach North and know that he does what is best for students 100% of the time. I wish I lived in Wasatch County for many reasons:
1. so I could have my sons instructed by him inside and outside the classroom
2. so I could voice my support for Coach North
3. so I could clue in these unreasonable parents
4. so I could show up to any meetings with my support
5. on and on
Coach needs to sue for slander and whatever else he can. Have to get a grip on this.

Midway, UT

Hey "Somewhere" that is a good idea. (-: Maybe we as a community can sue the parents of this "child" for failing their responsibilities to parent and for wasting our tax dollars suing a coach when they should be letting their "child" finally meet some consequences instead of protecting him from them. With parents like this it helps one understand why their child has problems.

Midway, UT

This is what happens when you give all the power to the students/parents. I believe we need to give some power back to the Teachers. These kids know that they can say and do whatever they want and when someone fires back they run home to mommy and she calls the school and throws a fit. Then in a few years when these kids are 30 and unemployed still living at home with mommy she blames the school for not teaching her son better. Wake up people sometimes your kid did something wrong it not always the Coaches/Teachers fault. I don't know the details of the story but I do know Coach North and he is a good man caught up in a mess caused by this generation of kids/parents who think that the world owes them something and that nobody should ever raise their voice or give them a swift kick in the butt.

Heber, Utah

@uw73, Amen brother! Those of us who did grow up here remember Coach Kelly in Middle School. You always stayed in line, because if you didn't, you would get the famous "Kelly boom". I also had a fifth grade teacher who had a stick that he would rap you an the behind with if you got out of line. One day I went home crying and told her Mr. D hit me with the stick, she smacked me on the top of the head and when I asked her why, she said, "because if Mr. D hit you, you must have been out of line" I never got in trouble in that class again! Parents who aren't as involved in their childs education anymore, rarely know the whole about what goes on day to day, they only hear when/if a teacher yells at them. I would love to see the student/teacher ratio of who is at fault more often. Probably about 100/1. Good luck Coach North!

Cedar Hills, UT

you can't touch a student ..period. Yes the laws are totally in favor of the student but the coach knew that so there is no excuse.

Park City, UT

WOW! I heard a coach at Wasatch had gotten into trouble with the kids. I was certain I knew who it was, only I was wrong! I agree with the posters, kids get away with way too much now days. I'll wait to judge until I know the whole story, which because I grew up there, will be in about 15 minutes! (lots of contacts) I only hope there isn't another story coming soon. I personally know another team (not soccer or track) at Wasatch that has coaches who are verbally abusive (I've heard it straight from the horses mouth)to the team to the point of tears on some occassions. I would never let my child play for a coach that did that. Sometimes it's about more than winning and losing parents! I have heard that these types of situations start with verbal abuse and then turn physical, I hope the parents on the other team will be dilgent and watchful this season.

Heber, Utah

@patriot, True dat! I've heard that Coach North was very remorseful after the fact. But, come on, if you can tell me you've never been pushed over the edge by a teenager, then you obviously have none!I'm not saying it's ok to act on it, but I think we've all been there. The kid was trying to push him, it wasn't just a one time outburst, it was continuous. I agree, he shouldn't have pushed the student. But call a spade a spade! This is not child abuse as we know it. I don't care how it's written in the law books, sometimes there has to be a better definition. The kid wasn't injured, he actually apologized after the incident. There were many other students who witnessed it and all that I know, said it was taken out of context. It's sad that one very minor incident holds his whole future in it's grasp.
p.s. the "her" in my last post I was referring to was my mother, God rest her soul!

Spanish Fork, UT

Let me start this by saying that I think Steve North is a solid football coach, teacher and good guy. However, as I have said every time we have this situation; as an educator, responsible for instructing and teaching students who are mostly minors, you are not allowed to put your hands them. It is not in his job description to physically pursue a minor. I am sure this kid probably was a punk and problematic but it is not coach North's responsibility to physically discipline him. Child abuse charges? Not warranted! But the school and the district should document the situation and come up with a punishment that addresses the seriousness of the issue but doesn't dismiss what this guy has done for the school and the community.

I would continue to caution these educators..Don't let an emotional situation lead to a detrimental action which puts your job, career and reputation in jeopardy.

TB Heber
Heber City, ut

Coach North knows what he did was wrong but schools need to figure out what to do with kids like this one who just want to cause trouble (start at home) Like oldgoat said check out his police record. I know that coach has had trouble with this kid in class before. QUESTION: Has the kid been suspended for his actions?? Good luck Coach we support you 100% because i know the kid and his history.

Tucson, AZ

I had a couple abusive coaches growing up. Problem is if he'll throw/push a student up against a wall, where will he stop? My coach threw a kid into a fence.

Long Hair Pete
West Jordan, UT

Sounds like the coach is a straight-up guy who is well-respected in his community. Unfortunately, he crossed the line when he touched the unruly student. He let his anger take control of his actions. Yes, the kid needs to be disciplined, but there are other ways to do it. Back when I was a kid we would get paddled, but these are not the old days. I can understand and empathize with the people who say that the kid had it coming. He sounds like a punk deserving of detention. Also,the coach does not deserve a criminal charge for his understandable lapse of good judgment. A written warning would suffice along with the school district mandating training for all their teachers. Sometimes good people make poor choices when they are flustered.

TB Heber
Heber City, ut

All due respect Doctor you have know idea who Steve North is

Eagle Mountain, UT

Ridiculous! Kick this kid out of this school and make him attend one for people like him. Give the coach / teacher a commendation and a raise.
I am a bog proponent of 3 strikes. If the kid is dis-respectful kick him out of your class. If he gets kicked out of class 3 times, suspend him for a week. If he gets suspended 3 times, kick him out of that school, or all schools.

newhall, CA

I believe the coach should counter sue the parents for poor parenting and raising a child with a disruptive behavior who has no respect for authority. I don't think the coach did anything wrong. Yes, even a teacher of 20 yrs has his breaking point. And if the student was cool about the teacher's reaction, then the incident should have remained in class. This mother is an idiot. She is out to ruin a life.

Y Ask Y
Provo, UT

Another football coach with anger issues.

Imagine that.

Cedar City, UT

Coach North is a fine man. And I understand the boy appologized shortly after the incident.

The school initiated the investigation.

Pointing the finger at either Coach North or the student is not right. The school policies and legal requirements are carrying this case, not the Coach or the student.

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