It’s Friday, and you’re getting ready for your football game. You’ve been practicing for months, waiting all week to play. Your nerves are starting to kick in as you walk onto the field and see the other team warming up, along with almost 5,000 of their fans in attendance. As soon as the game begins, you can tell that they’re way better than you. The game goes on and on, and they keep racking up points until it’s hard to tell one touchdown from another. It seems like it will never end. You can’t seem to score, and they can’t seem to stop. You don’t even have a field goal under your belt. After a while you simply stop looking at the scoreboard because it’s not doing anything but making you feel worse. By the end of the game, you walk off the field more beat up than you’ve ever been, take one last look at the bright red numbers on the scoreboard, and see that the game ended up with a total score of 91-0. You go home more deflated than ever. You wake up the next morning with it still in the back of your mind. Apparently, the question to ask yourself then is whether or not to file a bullying report. That’s what parents of a student on the football team at Western Hills High in Fort Worth, Texas did after they saw the game on October 18th.
After the Aledo High Bearcats thrashed the Western Hills High Cougars in a game with an end result of 91-0, a parent from Western Hills High filed an official bullying report on the school district. According to the Texas Education Agency, “Bullying occurs when a person is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.” Many people are questioning whether a football game could fit into these guidelines. Despite the fact that it might fit some of the characteristics, it is undecided whether or not it was over a long enough period of time to be considered bullying. However, the Aledo Independent School District must investigate the complaint filed against the coach of 21 years, Tim Buchanan, a three-time Class 4A State Champion. This year, the Bearcats have outscored their opponents in each of their games by a 77-point average.While the game obviously got out of hand, with Aledo scoring eight touchdowns on rushing yards, two on passes, two on punt returns, and one on a fumble recovery, the Western Hills coach, John Naylor, does not agree with the parent who filed the bullying report. He knew going into the game that it would be an uphill battle- his team was outmanned from the beginning, with only about 30 players on their varsity team. Naylor acknowledges that the Bearcats are ranked number 1 in the league for a reason. Buchanan told reporters, “I looked around [after Friday’s victory] and asked, ‘Is there anyone here that feels good?’”