Here comes the football team on a steaming hot day in August, ready for practice. There are 40 students on the team, and 38 of them are jogging out from the locker room, ready to go. The coach instructs all of them to take three laps around the track to warm up.
Five minutes later, as our 38 players are working their way around the track, the last two players emerge from the locker room. They are late. There is a penalty for being late. The coach instructs them to run up and down the stadium stairs until he tells them to stop.
Is this a tried and true traditional coaching practice? Or is it an “aversive technique” now prohibited by Chapter 37? Maybe it’s both.
Consider: an “aversive technique” is one that is intended to reduce the likelihood of a behavior reoccurring. Why does the coach make the players run the stairs? To reduce the likelihood of them being late again. So far, this looks like an “aversive technique.”
The second component of the definition is: “intentionally inflicting on a student significant physical...pain.” Will running the stadium stairs on a hot day in August inflict physical pain? Yes. Will it be “significant” pain????? Don’t know. But that word—“significant” is awfully subjective.
You might want to be sure your coaches are aware of SB 712.
DAWG BONE: MAYBE THE INSTRUCTION SHOULD BE: “RUN THOSE STAIRS UNTIL YOU START TO FEEL SIGNIFICANT PHYSICAL PAIN. THEN YOU CAN STOP.”
Tomorrow: Memories of significant physical pain.