Last night we attended another board meeting with the swim club. This time the board finally attended. After business was conducted, they opened up the floor to questions.
It was ugly. The board was defensive. Their speeches were filled with emotion and punctuated with swear words. They were accusatory and talked down to the people in the room. They said that no one (no one?) steps up and does anything in this club. They said we had no right to question their decisions. They were defensive and mean and frankly, rather frightening.
After, I was talking with someone about how this could all get to this. What were the red flags along the way?
I thought about the times I heard people complaining in the bleachers or in groups on deck at meets. Mostly, I stay out of those conversations. Maybe I should have said something to them though. Maybe I should have encouraged them to talk to the person they had issue with rather than talking about them.
I thought about a time when I went out for dinner with a bunch of parents and kids after an away meet and how one mom responded when I walked into the restaurant. We were the second group to arrive. Two women were there and there was a long row of tables that had been put together for the group. One mom, seeing me enter, quickly let me know there wasn't room for us. I just shook my head and asked the waitress if we could pull one more table over. Really, I should have had a conversation with the mom who was so bizarrely rude.
I thought at times when people in the club have been exclusive. Last year where there were a bunch of people (the gang, as I call them) all wearing the same t-shirts at a meet. Turns out the story is there was a parent who was unhappy with things in the club. She had talked to someone about it and made a comment about how they were all high and mighty like a gang in tuxes or something like that. So, in response, this group all bought t-shirts that were tuxes and wore them all weekend at the meeting.
I was stunned. If student's did something like that in our school we'd be working hard with them to help them learn the problems of being exclusive. How do you deal with it when adults do stuff like that?
It all left me feeling sick. Today my heart is racing and I feel like throwing up. I need a day to just sit in a park and stare at the horizon.