Having your job be dependent on the whims of screaming parents is a bad way to work, at least in the eyes of New Jersey’s high school sports coaches. According to NJ Spotlight, the New Jersey Legislature is considering a bill that would mandate that tenured head coaches receive a three year contract and that tenured assistant coaches receive two year deals.

Under the current system, coaches work on one year deals with an annual review. The coaches say that parents (and, in some cases, administrators) have started campaigns to get coaches fired for capricious reasons, often because their child doesn’t get enough playing time or isn’t playing the position the parent thinks they should play. Parents, school board members, and administrators have used the anti-bullying and anti-harassment rules to remove coaches, camouflaging their real reasons for the dissatisfaction. The coaches also say that some of these firings have led to being blackballed in the state, making it impossible to find another coaching position.

The bill would also establish a process by which coaches who get poor performance reviews will be given the opportunity to remedy the issues. If the bill passes (and it’s a long way from that), the obvious problem is keeping poor or even unfit coaches on the sideline for possibly two years after an incident. The coaches counter that it would be the same process that districts use to remove tenured teachers.

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