Mr. Bell responds to Mr. Shepherd’s comments on News and Record article on Student Transfers

Posted by Andy Durham on November 20, 2007 at 2:05 pm under High School | 99 Comments to Read

Robert Bell of the Greensboro News and Record responds to Mr. J Bruce Shepherd’s comments on athletes transferring from one school to another within the Guilford County School System for various reasons.

Mr. Bell’s comments are in bold print:

Mr. Shepherd, brings up some interesting points in his letter. I’ll leave it to him to have the last word on this but I did want to address some of his concerns and clarify some of his misconceptions about the article, which I stand by. My comments are in bold. Thanks

Robert Bell’s article “Era of Free Agents” is disturbing on many levels. I have addressed my concerns to Mr. Bell and he has encouraged me to write a letter to the editor.

Firstly, I find it unusual that Mr. Bell was on campus to interview the students without an adult present (The News & Record does many interviews of prep athletes in which adults are not present. However, in this case, I received permission from school officials to speak to the boys. Sometimes school officials ask about the subject of the interview and I tell them. Most times, as with this one, no one asks.) Both my son and the student interviewed at the same time as he, feel their comments were taken out of context (Since other people interviewed have not questioned me about the accuracy of the story, I will only address Mr. Shepherd’s concerns with his son. I asked him why he transferred. He responded that he wanted to play football. His response, in part: “Why should I have to give up on football? I still wanted to play. I couldn’t play at Page, so why not Grimsley?” Mr. Shepherd’s son spoke positively about Grimsley’s academics, but only after I brought the subject up. And never as a reason for transferring). Had an adult have been present, there would have been someone other than the two students there to confirm this. As it stands the reporter has the upper hand. Since the story is better with the boys’ comments as written, the reporter will of course stand by his story. Due to the nature of the story, if the students attempt to defend and/or correct their comments, it could be viewed as them changing their stories; because their stories are different from that of their parents. (Mr. Shepherd’s son had ample time during and after the interview to “change his story.” Mr. Shepherd’s son had two weeks to call me if he wanted to “correct his comments.” Even after I spoke with Mr. Shepherd and told him what his son had said, his son could have contacted me and “corrected his comments.” He didn’t.) If the story stands as written, the boys, their parents, and the school system can be viewed as seeking and approving a transfer for athletic reasons. Either way the boys lose. Obviously, Mr. Bell has no concern about how this story could affect these young people. (False. That’s one of the reasons why I sought out Mr. Shepherd for his comments. Unfortunately for Mr. Shepherd, I can’t run his comments while ignoring his son’s version. That would have been irresponsible and inaccurate on my part.)

I have to wonder why Mr. Bell chose to contact parents only after he interviewed the students instead of before. (Would his son’s statements to me have been different had I contacted Mr. Shepherd first?)

Mr. Bell admitted in his conversation with me that he changed the tone and focus of his article between the time he interviewed the boys and when he interviewed me (False. This implies that I purposely changed the tone and focus of the story. A story changes on its own based on what information is gathered. In this case any change to the story was dictated by those who I interviewed.) The boys were lead to believe the article was about the social issues involved with transferring to a new school. (False. I spoke about many issues of transferring with Mr. Shepherd’s son, including the social implications. Any implication of what the story was about was formed by Mr. Shepherd’s son – not me) Let’s keep in mind these are young people and students, not adults. During the course of the interview, playing football was discussed. My son’s comments, taken out of context, make it seem that he felt he was transferred to Grimsley to play football (False. Again, in a 20-minute interview, Mr. Shepherd’s son offered no other reason for transferring than football). This is in no way the case, nor what he said (Not sure how to respond. Earlier Mr. Shepherd said I took his son’s comments out of context. Now it appears he’s saying his son never made them. For the record: He did.) Mr. Bell appears to have felt content to convey whatever meaning he chose based on phrases he elicited. I understand, from talking with others, that Mr. Bell has the reputation of misquoting interviewees on a frequent basis (Mr. Shepherd understandably would not tolerate me making irresponsible and unsubstantiated claims like this one. Nor do I).

During the 2006/2007 school year, my son experienced difficulties with several of the coaches and several members of the staff and administration at Page High School. While the initial focus of these problems may have been related in part to football, it was certainly not the reason for our decision to transfer our son from Page.

We made the decision to transfer Stefan away from Page, not to transfer him to Grimsley (This contradicts what I was told for the story).

Contrary to what Mr. Bell may have inferred, I never stated the reason for the transfer was that Stefan “… had exhausted the advanced courses he could take at Page and that Grimsley offered more”. While we did request Grimsley as the school we preferred Stefan to attend, we did so not because of the lack of advanced courses at Page. We felt it in our son’s best interest to be away from Page, and Grimsley was not only the closest school to our home, but it also offered (in conjunction with Weaver Center) the next level in the Sci-Vis program that Stefan had excelled in during the last 3 years; something not offered at Page. Mrs. Jones, the Sci-Vis teacher at Page and a leading teaching in North Carolina in the Sci-Vis curriculum, recommended the course offerings at Weaver Center as a logical next step. It was Mr. Bell who chose to take Sci-Vis classes synonymous with advanced classes (True. Because of space limitations I paraphrased what Mr. Shepherd said about sci-vis classes. And he has a point that the story would have been more complete by me reporting that Mr. Shepherd’s son “exhausted the sci-vis classes at Page…”). Obviously, as he is not a teacher, nor a very good researcher, he was easily confused. Additionally, as I told Mr. Bell, Stefan was a minor child when the decision was made to transfer Stefan from Page and as such Stefan wasn’t consulted (This contradicts what both Mr. Shepherd and his son told me for the story). The decision was made by his parents and other adults that had his best interests at heart. These adults included the Board of Education who extensively scrutinized our application.

Furthermore, contrary to Mr. Bell’s writing, I never conveyed to him that the transfer was based solely on academics (The story never said the transfer was based solely on academics.) I just stated firmly that the transfer was not based solely on football (Agreed. I believe the story reflects that). In fact, until we received the approval from the Guilford County Schools, (in late June of 2007) we did not know which school Stefan would attend. That in and of itself should dispel the notion that Stefan was transferred to Grimsley to play football (Not knowing which school your son will attend doesn’t dispel anything. Fact: The family requested a transfer to Grimsley).

Stefan was subjected to a plethora of unfair treatments at Page, not the least of which was being forced to attend a meeting with Head Coach Gillespie, Assistant Principal Cockerham and Assistant Athletic Director Barnes. Stefan was removed from his chemistry class while taking a test, and told he needed to meet with these three adults. Stefan requested that one or both of his parents be present at the meeting. His request was not only denied, but when his mother arrived at the school, she was denied access to the meeting. This type behavior was not only allowed by Dr. Worrell (the principal at the time) and Mr. Lee, but apparently condoned by Dr. Grier and a majority of the school board members.

Sadly, as reprehensible as this was, there were many more incidents such as this; each one worse than the next. I did not feel that it was necessary to go into this part of the reason for Stefan’s transfer from Page with Mr. Bell; however, due to the comment made by Athletic Director Rusty Lee, who was quoted in the article, and subsequent comments I have received from Page Principal Marilyn Foley and Guilford County School Board Chairman Alan Duncan, I feel I have no choice.

I contend that Mr. Lee’s comment, “I can tell you unequivocally (Shepard) did not leave because of academics,” was inappropriate, unprofessional, and in breech of the guidelines set out by the GCSS to protect student privacy as shown on the GCSS website. There it is written: “Recipients of student records should be cautioned that student information may not be released to third parties without the consent of the parent/guardian or eligible student”. In this case Mr. Lee would be the “recipient” and Mr. Bell the “third party”. Not only was Mr. Lee incorrect in his quote, he broke policy by commenting on what should have remained private. What is even more disturbing is that it appears Mr. Lee was instructed as to how to respond to Mr. Bell (False. I never instructed or coached Mr. Lee in any fashion. I asked him why Mr. Shepherd’s son transferred. Mr. Lee seemed reluctant to talk. I then told Mr. Lee that Mr. Shepherd said they put in for a transfer because Stefan had taken all of the sci-vis courses he could take at Page and that Grimsley offered more. Mr. Lee then said he would call me back with a comment.)

That Stefan transferred to Grimsley is public record – he is there. The reasons why or why not a transfer took place are private, and for an official (Mr. Lee) of the school system to convey information about a student is not appropriate. This is where Mr. Lee invaded Stefan’s privacy, and why his comments are in breech of the community’s trust. I have to wonder: if he is so willing to talk about my son’s private issues, can he be trusted to keep other private matters from becoming public?

I questioned Mr. Bell’s use of the quote. I also questioned Principal Foley’s and the School Board’s reasoning for allowing such a quote. Listed below are the comments I have received in answer to my questions regarding the appropriateness of Mr. Lee’s comment. All of the quotes were taken from emails sent to me.

From Mr. Bell, 11/15/07: “…Mr. Lee said he would have to talk with school officials before responding. When he called back, he told me that both Page and Guilford County School administrators had instructed him on what to say…”

From Ms. Foley, 11/15/07: “I can tell you that the reporter gave the slant to Mr. Lee that the transfer was due to Page’s poor academics. (I never told Mr. Lee that the transfer was due to poor academics. I repeated Mr. Shepard’s claim to Mr. Lee. It was Mr. Lee who interpreted Mr. Shepard’s remarks as an indictment against Page academics.)That was certainly a perception that would be an inaccurate portrayal of the academic programs here at Page. I was out of town and did not see the article. However, it was my understanding that Mr. Lee stated only that the transfer was not due to academics.

From Mr. Bell, 11/16/07: “I agree: You never questioned Page’s academics in our interview. Nor did I imply as much in my interview last week with Mr. Lee. I merely repeated to him the reasons you had explained to me for the transfer — that Stefan had exhausted all the advanced courses available for him at Page. I spoke to Mr. Lee this morning and he confirmed this”.

“As I noted yesterday, Mr. Lee said last week in our interview he would have to talk to school administrators before comment. This morning, he said he interpreted your remarks as being negative and that he relayed as much to Dr. Foley last week”.

From Alan Duncan, 11/16/07: “Factually, the statement that is attributed to you in the article is not accurate given the number of Advanced Placement courses offered at Page. The clear inference left by your statement is unmistakably to the effect that Page’s academic offerings were inferior to Grimsley’s and the Board allowed the reassignment based on that fact. Any reassignment that was permitted for your son was not based on inadequate academic offerings at Page”

It is obvious that someone is not being completely truthful. Either Mr. Bell conveyed to Mr. Lee that my comments were something other than what they actually were, or Mr. Lee embellished Mr. Bell’s comments in an effort to get permission to comment. Either way, it was inappropriate for Mr. Lee to comment. Mr. Lee not only violated my son’s right to privacy, he blatantly defied my request from last year, a request of which Mr. Lee was fully aware: that he (Mr. Lee) was to have no contact with my son nor was he to comment on any situation regarding my son. This is in response to a situation in which Mr. Lee verbally attacked me in a public arena; a situation for which Mr. Lee was reprimanded, as confirmed by letter from Dr. Terry Worrell (former Page principal) in September 2006.

While I do feel that Mr. Bell was remiss in his handling of this article I feel that the comment made by Mr. Lee was inexcusable. The only thing worse than Mr. Lee making the comment is that it appears that his comment was a directive from Ms. Foley and ”Guilford County School administrators”. Apparently it is the opinion of Mr. Lee, Ms. Foley, and “Guilford County School administrators” that it is more important to defend an aspersion, thought to be cast against Page’s academics than it is to protect the privacy of a student, and follow policy.

For all of those who have commented on how wrong it was that my son be transferred for athletic reasons…it was because of the reasons I have stated here, and certain members of the Page staff and administration’s total disregard for policy, procedure and student welfare that my son was transferred away from Page. Fortunately for my son, the School Board decided he would attend Grimsley.

We are pleased that his school experiences at Grimsley have proven to be positive. We have hoped that the positive environment would help him to move past the negativity of his experiences of last year at Page. We are hoping that he will be able to move on to a productive future as a student and athlete, having learned from these experiences.

Unfortunately, due to Mr. Bell’s jaundiced journalism and Mr. Lee’s inappropriate comments, this will be more difficult than anticipated.

J Bruce Shepherd

After reading this post several times over I have come to the conclusion that Mr. Bell and Mr. Shepherd know much more about this particular situation than I do and I need to get back on the street and gather more details. These men are detail oriented and I hope I can catch up with them one day. If I would approach my subjects with the fervor and time that these men have put into this topic then our readers would be better served.

Mr. Bell’s credibility has come under question here and Mr. Shepherd is on board in defense of his son and his family name. Both men are correct to be standing up and speaking out about this issue. I do not believe we could have ever dreamed how many details would involved when Robert Bell first broke this story.

I have followed transfers for many years and I’m still blown away by how much is going on here with the transfer issues.

Have a good holiday, we hope everyone can have some peace and enjoy a good piece of turkey. For me, I will stick to the Dur-HAM sandwiches.


  • Whirlies4ever said,

    I’m a parent of a whirlie to be. I don’t know this parent but he seems to have taken a page from our President’s book. When caught, create as many diversions and point as many fingers as possible to confuse the situation. Something needs to be done about the transfer issues. Not just here but in Meck county as well!

  • PirateParent said,

    Mr. Shepherd is a trouble maker and a lying sack of ****. He just can not accept that his son is not that good a player. Mr. Bell told the truth and now Mr. Shepherd wants to change it. Stefan is not a bad kid and we all wish him luck in the future, both in athletics and academics – even if his father is an jackass.

  • Rob said,

    While I can see the concern with Rusty Lee’s comments, it seems that they are true statements based on the interview. As far as inproprieties with interviewing a high school senior, this parent needs to just sit down and shut up. He is only making it worse for his son.

    I wanted to be the best runner on my Cross Country team, but there was this guy named Paul Kinser that could run the speed of sound. Maybe I should have transferred to Dudley. Instead, I have become one of the best beer tasters in my graduating class. Hey, I accepted my limitations and found somthing I was good at, maybe these kids should do the same. If they don’t learn to accept their limitations, and we all have them, how will they adjust when others aren’t around to pick them up or cover for them after a failure. This is a perfect example of how beating the system did absolutely nothing positive, just as it shouldn’t have.

  • Marty said,

    Grimsley had a great team-Page had a great team. Everybody just needs to let it go. The kids need to have some space and do their thing. Watch a game on Thanksgiving Day and you’ll find that the pros are getting it done. Why don’t we just let this go and do like the other guy said and go have a beer? It’s time to chill out.

  • jls said,

    I can understand how it may be viewed that Mr Shepherd’s comments are in direct contrast with his son’s. That said, there are many things that those of you who are commenting do not know. I was at Page last year while all of this was happening. I know first hand what happened last year and what Stefan was put through by Gillespie and some of the other coaches. I also know how the situation was handled by Worrell, Cockerham, Lee, Terry Grier and several members of the school board. I saw the nasty email Dr. Worrell wrote about Stefan and his parents (both versions, the edited version the Shepherd’s saw and the original email that was worse), I also saw the emails that went back and forth. I wish I was still there so that I could publish those emails. If you could see these emails, all of you with children at Page would be there tomorrow to remove your children. The only thing worse than the emails from Dr. Grier. Each one contained more contridictions than the last. I also saw a copy of a letter that Dr. Grier sent to the Shepherd’s. It was disgusting to see the number of errors and omissions in the letter. Dr. Grier not only misrepresented the facts as presented to him by his staff, he contridicted himself. If you could see these, you would remove your children from the school. It is so easy for everyone to make snide comments. I can tell you that if it were you when you were a student or if it happened to your child, you would see things differently. This is one of the many reasons I left Page and remove my children from the GCS. Those of you that think your children are safe from this type treatment, should think again! Everyone should listen to what their children tell them and check it out completely before dismissing it. Those of you who are worshiping at the feet of Rusty Lee should look into why Bob Via is no longer at Page. If you doubt there are problems at Page, look at the football roster from last year. Look at the students that did not attend Page. Check out where they came from and there eligibility. See where they attend school now. Finally, and this may matter only to the Shepherd’s (and they may never have been told) see if you can find when Jeremy Godwin was a coach at Page. I apologize to the Shepherd’s for not having the backbone to do something last year. As with us all I had to think of my children and I know first hand what can happen if you cross GCS

  • Doug Cockman said,

    jls said “That said, there are many things that those of you who are commenting do not know. I was at Page last year while all of this was happening.”

    Please shed some light on this.

  • Mo said,

    Everyone needs to get real about this transfer thing. Regardless of the “formal” reasons that GCS allows transfers, we all know that many transfers are made solely for athletic purposes. All you have to do is look at the baseball program here at Grimsley and see the players that are (or have been) from outside the Grimsley district. You can say what you want but those students came to Grimsley for athletics and were able to find an academic loophole that allowed them to do so. But why single out a few transferees? Until GCS institutes a policy that requires transferring students to sit out a year from sports, athletic transfers will continue. And continue “legally” I might add.

    Okay, okay, okay. The first paragraph was my way of venting a little over the frustration as a parent of watching my child’s playing time being eroded by better players that have transferred from outside our district. I don’t think it’s fair. But I’m biased in that respect.

    But in the big picture, what’s the big deal as to why a student transfers? If it’s an advantage for them academically or athletically to transfer then it should be okay. Isn’t that what we do as adults with our careers. We move within the job marketplace to take advantage of opportunities….same theory applies with student tranfers. If I thought my child would get more opportunities for academics OR athletics at another school, I would discuss the option of a tranfer with him/her.

    So, for whatever reason, the Shepard family thought it best for Stephan to move to Grimsley. GCS allowed the transfer and that should be the end of it. No one did anything wrong regarding his transfer! But it sure seems a lot of folks did wrong things that caused him to transfer. And Mr. Bell’s story has caused those same folks to continue doing wrong things like commenting on confidential matters without the expressed permission by the Shepard family allowing them to do so.

    It sure sounds like someone needs to apologize to Stephan for getting him caught up in the middle of all this. But I don’t think apologies sell newspapers.

  • jls said,

    I would also like to point out that parents do not always get to choose where the Board will allow their child to attend. I happen to know that this transfer was denied at first. Later, after producing compelling information to the board, the transfer was granted. The reasons the transfer was granted had nothing to do with sports. There is so much more to this than you can know. While you all are so quick to judge, I want to point out that if you would read the what Mr. Shepherd wrote and the email comments of Bell, it would seem either Rusty Lee mislead (lied) to Foley or Bell mispoke (lied) to Mr. Shepherd. I have to wonder, as the accuracy of any thing a reporter writes when he does not take the time to use the correct spelling of someone’s name in an article. All of you who are making comments may want to demand an investigation into why Via left and why Gillespie was chosen. Gillespie’s record at his previous school really doesn’t warrant his being awarded the head coaches position at one of the largest high schools in the state. I guess Page had such a need for a weightlifting coach, they grabbed Gillespie before he could get away. I no longer live in the area but return on occasion. I have heard Gillespie comment on television recently. One thing I would like to suggest is that the Booster Club use some of the funds they have raised (there are always funds in reserve, ask Lee) to get grammar and diction lessons for Kevin G. I have to conclude his knowledge of weightlifting techniques was so vast that articulation was not something required for the position as Head Coach.

  • jls said,

    Cockman… track down Terry Worrell and ask her about the email she wrote about the Shepherd’s. It was insulting and disrespectful. It is my understanding the only way the Shepherd’s were aware of this is that a concerned party forwarded it to them. Oh course no one at Page would have the courtesy to do so. While you have her attention ask the good why she didn’t return the parent’s phone calls in a timely manner and why Cockerham was not honest with Mrs. Shepherd. Ask her why Stefan was pulled out of class, while taking a test to go to a meeting and why his mother was not allowed to enter the meeting. I bet all of you making the nasty comments would be shouting from the rooftops if you were barred from a meeting with your child. I may have a copy of the email, I saved it when it was circulated. It would be interesting to see how you all respond to that.

  • jls said,

    PirateParent (Dan Moore)… I don’t think I would be so quick to call someone “a trouble maker and a lying sack of ****” if I were you. I’m sure the child of which you are a parent is so proud to have your comments here for everyone to see. Your opinion, regardless of whether positive or negative toward Mr. Shepherd, I’m sure is appreciated on any blog. That said, it may have carried more weight if it were presented in a less inarticulate way.

    Whirlies4ever… you state you do not know this parent, one must wonder why you comment as you did, not knowing all the details. If you too, would read both Mr. Bell’s and Mr. Shepherd’s comments, you would see the same comparison could be drawn for Mr. Bell, but it would not be fun to say that about him.

    Rob… sitting down and shutting up when dealing with the GCSS may get you promoted, but it will not protect your child. Again, as with everyone here, you do not know the situation or all the facts. I do not know the Shepherd’s, any of them, but I do know right from wrong and I do know that most of us would do what is necessary to protect our children.

    Stefan was not the only child treated badly at Page, there were many. The Shepherd’s made the fatal mistake of being vocal. Stefan had to be “taken care of”. There could be a child on any team at Page with parents that would not drink the kool-aid and goose-step. I can only hope that those of you who are so quick to judge are never in a situation like this with your children. The sad part is, you are probably all raising the type children that will grow up to become teachers and coaches and have the torch at Page passed to them.

  • Doug Cockman said,

    jls – What was the nature of the meeting between Stefan and the school officials? What problem did the school officials have with Stefan? Why were all these people coming down on this kid? Because of his performance on the football field? This whole thing seems very strange.

  • jls said,

    Doug – the meeting was to tell Stefan that he “quit” the team. He was suspended from the team, so apparently the child assumed he shouldn’t attend practice. He didn’t attend practice and for that was told he had “quit”. A parent, Mrs. Shepherd I think, contacted Cockerham on at least two occasions but was never told Stefan should have been at practice. A letter was sent by the parents saying Stefan would be at practice the following Monday. This letter was the source of many meetings and CYA sessions. Gillespie had already told the kids on the team Stefan had “quit” and had a new kid on the team. Gillespie contended that that Stefan had “quit” and had been suspended from one game, should have attended pratice and since he didn’t he “quit”. Stefan maintained he had be suspended from the team and thought that meant practice. Worrell knew, Lee knew, Cockerham knew. They all had to stick to the fact that Stefan “quit”. The pathetic thing was the letter sent to the Shepherd’s by our fearless leader Worrell, said Stefan was suspended from the TEAM. But as usual at Page, no one listens to a student or parent, only the staff. They all should be ashamed. It is amazing how many people were aware of what was happening. The Shepherd’s should pursue this. It was strange. A lot of the staff felt that Stefan was being punished because of Lee’s intense dislike for Mr. Shepherd and Worrell went along with whatever Lee said. Looks like Foley is doing the same.

  • jls said,

    I followed this closely as did many people. The Shepherd’s have lots of documentation and many people have copies. Their requests for help, along with that of other parents, were ignored.

  • jls said,

    most parents gave up

  • jls said,

    Dr. Grier was aware of all of this as was the board. The child said no one cared, he was correct. I doubt anyone will.

  • jls said,

    Why did Worrell leave in the middle of the year? Why was Gillespie hired? Why was Via let go? Who is Jeremy Godwin? Why was Lee allowed to conduct an “investigation” when he should have never been involved because of the reprimand he received for loosing his temper after a game and directing it toward Shepherd? Was Lee really reprimanded?

  • Doug Cockman said,

    This is a sad, yet interesting story. According to jls, the folks at Page had it out for this kid and his father and all the big wigs at Page were in on it (Principal, AD, others). These are some pretty damning charges against those adults in charge at Page. The question remains, why did they single THIS kid out? Again, these are serious charges against Worrell, Lee and others. It seems that Mr. Shepherd could have given this story to Mr. Bell and the News and Record. If as jls claims, “Stefan was not the only child treated badly at Page, there were many”, it seems that this is certainly newsworthy and Mr. Bell would have followed up on it. Folks are going to be somewhat skeptical about the Shepherd’s side of this story because it seems that too many times that Stefan’s words and actions are “taken out of context or misinterpreted” and that both the school officials and Mr. Bell are out to get Stefan and make him and his family look bad. Again, the question is why would they have it out for this kid?

  • jls said,

    My guess is that Mr. Shepherd did not want this to play out in the media. Before you ask this of the Shepherd’s, remember I am making these comments, not the Shepherd. I think he may have responded to Mr. Bell as he did based on his treatment last year. He probably knows he has to CYA at every turn. Look at what Lee did? I have to wonder why Lee was allowed to comment at all? He had to know it would cause a problem and Mr. Shepherd would respond. That was probably his plan.

  • Pat said,

    Am I the only one who wonders what the big deal is about all this? Bell’s story was about transfers – why is everyone making this about the Shepherd kid? From what I have heard, this kid is an average player, nothing special. It ain’t like GHS stole Page’s best player. Why is this site trying to start trouble and bring out a bunch of bad stuff about Page? Greensboro Sports website is nothing but a muckraking site. Sure, you might scoop the News and Record once in a while but that ain’t saying much.

  • jls said,

    pat – why are you here then

  • Doug Cockman said,

    Pat – GreensboroSports.com is not a “muckracking” website, we are the only local media outlet with the guts to bring stories like this out in the open, then report BOTH sides of the story. It is doubtful the N&R would have printed Mr. Shepherd’s full letter (space issues) and it is more doubtful that Mr. Bell would have responded in the fashion he did (taking it point by point – again a space issue). GreensboroSports.com brought you both sides of the story. There are underlying issues surrounding this story and jls has touched on those. I am sure there are those who disagree with the jls’s version of what happened and they are welcome to come here and give their side of the story in the comment box. This site is about reporting on interesting subjects and having a lively discussion about those subjects. If we can do some good, fill a void in the local sports scene and “scoop the News and Record once in a while”, so be it.

  • Robert Bell said,

    I know I promised I wouldn’t respond anymore, but let me add one thing: We can have a meaningful dialogue about this issue without attacking Stefan Shepherd’s athletic skills here. From what I’ve observed from afar over three years, he’s a good kid and athlete. Attacking him serves no purpose and certainly doesn’t move the discussion forward. Just my two cents. OK, this time I’ll really go away.

  • Andy said,

    This has become another hot button topic and after more study and review I personally have come to the conclusion that if a student trasfers to another school for athletics then they should be required to sit out a year. If the student is leaving for academic purposes then they would be allowed to play. This is a huge gray area that the Guilford County School System needs to get a handle on. They may need to hire a compliance person to work solely in this area and with all the movement going on they may need some backup.

    You have to believe that the coaches from other parts of the state are reading all of this and they may be ready to do some venting and checking of their own. The team outside this county loses to one of our teams and they read that the Guilford County squad a had transfer playing that didn’t live in the proper school district? You have to wonder if there might not be some other digging going on.

    In the case of Stefan Shepherd I spoke with him earlier in the season and he told me got kicked off of the team at Page last year and he was now very happy at Grimsley. From what I have been told, Stefan will be named All-Conference punter for the Metro 4-A conference for 2007. Sounds like a happy ending.

    Stefan is fine kid and has worked hard. He also works very hard in the classroom and that will give him a great chance to excel after graduation.

    As far as what happened at Page, by what I have been able to deduct, Matt Milisor beat out Stefan Shepherd as the kicker for the Page Pirates. Stefan continued to be the punter. Maybe things didn’t go that great, I do not know. I think Mr. Shepherd wanted Stefan out of Page because he thought that was best for his son. By Stefan getting kicked off of the team that would open the door for Stefan to make the move to Grimsley. The Shepherds didn’t want to be at Page.

    From what I have been reading here and from what I have heard over the past several months it was not a pleasant environment for the Shepherds at Page due to many different circumstances. In observing this situation one can get the sense that Mr. Shepherd got way too involved in this matter and that in the course of trying to be a parent that was very concerned about his son’s participation in football things got way out of hand.

    This has become a long drawn out process and it is by far not the only examaple of what is going with transfers moving from one school to another in Guilford County. We could go on and on about other cases but all we would be doing is bringing up more dirt and it probably is time for some of the dust to settle.

    Going back to some previous points, I do believe it is time for the School System to step in and have a person in place on staff to govern this area of transfers. Within that same line of thinking, I still do not see what can be done when a family decides to buy a house and move into a particular school district.

    Within the Shepherd’s corner, I do hope what I’m hearing is true and that Stefan made the All-Conference team as a punter and that the Shepherd’s will use this honor to try and secure a spot on a college squad next year if they are interested. As always we wish the best for the kid in this situation. Deep down I still believe that Mr. Shepherd has his son’s best interest at heart.

    I spoke to Rusty Lee the Page Athletic Director earlier this week and he told me he has no comments for this web site but we appreciate the on-going commets from Robert Bell of the N&R and our other readers. I will be keeping future matters and comments concerning this issue of transfers in the comment box and not on the board as posts.

    If you have additional comments on the subject please continue to leave them here in the box. Thank-you, Andy Durham, the guy that helped get all of this stir flying around at GREENSBOROSports.com and remember he did it to allow a public forum so everyone that had something to say about this topic would have a place to go.

    Doing our best to prevent strokes and heart attacks.

  • J. Bruce Shepherd said,

    Thank you, Mr. Bell, for your last comment. The issue is the transfer – not the child.

    jls, thank you…you’re comments are right on target. While I don’t know who you are and you say don’t know me, I am astounded by the amount of accurate information you have viewed. I wish I had all the information you’ve seen, especially the unedited email from Dr. Worrell. The one we recived was bad enough. Your comments confirm what we always suspected. I appreciate your support. From your comments, you must know we recieved no support last year.

  • J. Bruce Shepherd said,

    Thank you, Mr. Bell, for your last comment. The issue is the transfer – not the child.

    jls, thank you…you’re comments are right on target. While I don’t know who you are and you say don’t know me, I am astounded by the amount of accurate information you have viewed. I wish I had all the information you’ve seen, especially the unedited email from Dr. Worrell. The one we recived was bad enough. Your comments confirm what we always suspected. I appreciate your support. From your comments, you must know we recieved no support last year.

  • J. Bruce Shepherd said,

    Here are my comments regarding Mr. Bell’s (GN&R) response to his original blog.

    Bell: Since other people interviewed have not questioned me about the accuracy of the story, I will only address Mr. Shepherd’s concerns with his son.
    SHEPHERD’S REPLY: THIS CONFLICTS WITH THE INFORMATION I HAVE RECEIVED FROM OTHER PARENTS, WHO HAVE SPOKEN PERSONALLY WITH MR. BELL.

    Bell: I asked him why he transferred. He responded that he wanted to play football. His response, in part: “Why should I have to give up on football? I still wanted to play. I couldn’t play at Page, so why not Grimsley?” Mr. Shepherd’s son spoke positively about Grimsley’s academics, but only after I brought the subject up. And never as a reason for transferring).
    SHEPHERD’S REPLY: THIS WAS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE ARTICLE:
    “…SHEPARD SAID HE APPLIED AND WAS ACCEPTED THIS YEAR INTO GRIMSLEY’S IB PROGRAM. HE’S STILL PART OF THE IB PROGRAM AND IS THE WHIRLIES KICKER.”

    Bell: Mr. Shepherd’s son had ample time during and after the interview to “change his story.” Mr. Shepherd’s son had two weeks to call me if he wanted to “correct his comments.” Even after I spoke with Mr. Shepherd and told him what his son had said, his son could have contacted me and “corrected his comments.” He didn’t.)
    SHEPHERD’S REPLY: MR. BELL’S STATEMENTS ARE MISLEADING. I CORRECTED MY SON’S COMMENTS AND WAS CLEAR WITH MR. BELL THAT STEFAN HAD MISSPOKEN. THAT IS, IN FACT, WHAT HE IS LEADING THE READER TO BELIEVE NOW.

    Bell: This implies that I purposely changed the tone and focus of the story. A story changes on its own based on what information is gathered. In this case any change to the story was dictated by those who I interviewed.)
    SHEPHERD’S REPLY: FOR THE RECORD- MR. BELL MADE THESE COMMENTS IN EMAILS.
    • THIS IS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM AN EMAIL FROM MR. BELL ON 11/15/07:
    “YOU ARE CONCERNED THAT I MISLED STEFAN INTO THINKING THE STORY WOULD BE OF A DIFFERENT CONTEXT THAN THE VERSION THAT APPEARED IN THE PAPER. I TRY MY BEST TO BE AS GENERAL AS POSSIBLE WHEN TELLING SOMEONE WHAT TYPE OF STORY I’M WRITING SIMPLY BECAUSE I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT STORY I’M GOING TO WRITE UNTIL ALL THE FACTS ARE IN”

    • THIS IS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM AN EMAIL FROM MR. BELL ON 11/17/07:
    “YOU ARE CORRECT IN THAT FROM WHEN I TALKED TO STEFAN AND YOU —A PERIOD OF MORE THAN TWO WEEKS — THE STORY HAD CHANGED.”

    Bell: I spoke about many issues of transferring with Mr. Shepherd’s son, including the social implications. Any implication of what the story was about was formed by Mr. Shepherd’s son – not me)
    SHEPHERD’S REPLY: SEE ABOVE

    Bell: Again, in a 20-minute interview, Mr. Shepherd’s son offered no other reason for transferring than football… Not sure how to respond. Earlier Mr. Shepherd said I took his son’s comments out of context. Now it appears he’s saying his son never made them. For the record: He did.)
    SHEPHERD REPLY:: AGAIN, THIS WAS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE ARTICLE:
    “…SHEPARD SAID HE APPLIED AND WAS ACCEPTED THIS YEAR INTO GRIMSLEY’S IB PROGRAM. HE’S STILL PART OF THE IB PROGRAM AND IS THE WHIRLIES KICKER.”

    Bell: Because of space limitations I paraphrased what Mr. Shepherd said about sci-vis classes. And he has a point that the story would have been more complete by me reporting that Mr. Shepherd’s son “exhausted the sci-vis classes at Page…”).
    SHEPHERD’S REPLY: CHOOSING NOT TO USE SCI-VIS IS A HUGE ISSUE. I NEVER SAID ADVANCE CLASSES, AS SMALL A MATTER AS THIS MAY SEEM, IT HAS ACTUALLY BEEN ONE OF ISSUES THAT HAS SPARKED THE CONTROVERSY.

    Bell: Not knowing which school your son will attend doesn’t dispel anything. Fact: The family requested a transfer to Grimsley).
    SHEPHERD’S REPLY: OF COURSE GRIMSLEY WOULD BE THE FIRST CHOICE; IT WAS THE CLOSEST SCHOOL TO OUR HOME. IT WAS ALSO THE SCHOOL SUGGESTED FOR THE BEST COMBINATION WITH WEAVER FOR SCI-VIS. IF IT IS DEEMED NECESSARY TO MOVE CHILD FROM THE CLOSEST SCHOOL, IT MAKES SENSE TO CHOOSE THE NEXT CLOSEST SCHOOL. WE HAD NO SAY AS TO WHERE THE SCHOOL BOARD WOULD CHOOSE TO SEND OUR SON. I WILL NOT GO INTO THE DETAILS, BUT WE HAD TO PROVE TO THE BOARD THAT OUR SON NEEDED TO BE TRANSFERRED FROM PAGE. IT WAS AN ARDUOUS PROCESS. ONCE THE PROCESS WAS CONCLUDED IT WOULD BE SEVERAL MONTHS BEFORE NOT ONLY WHICH SCHOOL STEFAN WOULD ATTEND, BUT IF HE WOULD BE ALLOWED TO TRANSFER.

    Bell: I never instructed or coached Mr. Lee in any fashion. I asked him why Mr. Shepherd’s son transferred. Mr. Lee seemed reluctant to talk. I then told Mr. Lee that Mr. Shepherd said they put in for a transfer because Stefan had taken all of the sci-vis courses he could take at Page and that Grimsley offered more. Mr. Lee then said he would call me back with a comment.)
    SHEPHERD’S REPLY: I NEVER SAID MR. LEE WAS COACHED BY MR. BELL. I FIND IT ODD THAT MR. BELL WOULD COMMENT TO THIS THE WAY HE DID BASED ON HIS EMAILS TO AND FROM ME. HE WAS AWARE OF MY CONCERN THAT MR. LEE HAD COMMENTED AND WHO APPROVED THE COMMENTS. IT WAS FROM MR. BELL THAT I LEARNED MR. LEE HAD TOLD MR. BELL HE (LEE) HAD BEEN TOLD WHAT TO SAY. ONE OF THE REASONS I CHOSE TO CONTINUE TO REFUTE MR. BELL WAS THAT EACH TIME I RECEIVED AN EMAIL HE CHANGED THIS A BIT.

    • FROM AN EMAIL FROM MR. BELL ON 11/15:
    I CONTACTED PAGE HOPING SOMEONE COULD SHED SOME LIGHT ON THE SITUATION. MR. LEE SAID HE WOULD HAVE TO TALK WITH SCHOOL OFFICIALS BEFORE RESPONDING. WHEN HE CALLED BACK, HE TOLD ME THAT BOTH PAGE AND GUILFORD COUNTY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS HAD INSTRUCTED HIM ON WHAT TO SAY, WHICH IS WHAT APPEARED IN THE ARTICLE.

    • FROM AN EMAIL FROM MR. BELL ON 11/16:
    AS I NOTED YESTERDAY, MR. LEE SAID LAST WEEK IN OUR INTERVIEW HE WOULD HAVE TO TALK TO SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS BEFORE COMMENT. THIS MORNING, HE SAID HE INTERPRETED YOUR REMARKS AS BEING NEGATIVE AND THAT HE RELAYED AS MUCH TO DR. FOLEY LAST WEEK.

    • FROM AN EMAIL FROM MR. BELL ON 11/19:
    MY CONVERSATION WITH MR. LEE
    1. I WAS NOT BOUND BY SPACE WITH MR. LEE. I SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED TO HIM YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT EXHAUSTING THE SCI-VIS CLASSES AVAILABLE AT PAGE.
    2. MR. LEE SAID HE COULD NOT COMMENT UNTIL SEEKING GUIDANCE FROM OTHERS.
    3. MR. LEE CALLED BACK AND OFFERED A COMMENT, WHICH APPEARED IN THE PAPER. HE SAID THE COMMENT WAS CRAFTED BY OTHERS WITHIN PAGE AND A GUILFORD COUNTY SCHOOLS OFFICIAL.

    (I’M NOT SURE HOW SAY STEFAN TRANSFERRED FOR SCI-VIS COULD BE CONSTRUED AS NEGATIVE, BUT IF YOU READ BELOW, MR. LEE DID NOT TELL MS. FOLEY WHAT MR. BELL TOLD HIM)

    • FROM AN EMAIL FROM MARILYN FOLEY ON 11/15
    I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE REPORTER GAVE THE SLANT TO MR. LEE THAT THE TRANSFER WAS DUE TO PAGE’S POOR ACADEMICS. THAT WAS CERTAINLY A PERCEPTION THAT WOULD BE AN INACCURATE PORTRAYAL OF THE ACADEMIC PROGRAMS HERE AT PAGE.

    Bell: I never told Mr. Lee that the transfer was due to poor academics. I repeated Mr. Shepard’s claim to Mr. Lee. It was Mr. Lee who interpreted Mr. Shepard’s remarks as an indictment against Page academics.)
    SHEPHERD’S REPLY: THIS IS ONE OF MY POINTS. IS IT POSSIBLE MR. LEE MISLEAD MS. FOLEY?

    I appreciate Mr. Bell’s comments and thought I should take a moment to respond, based on facts as they appear in Mr. Bell’s own words in his emails. Thank you for providing a forum in which I can respond.

    J Bruce Shepherd

  • jls said,

    Andy – It would be interesting to find out where you were “able to deduct, Matt Milisor beat out Stefan Shepherd as the kicker for the Page Pirates”. That had to come from Gillespie or Lee. Look at the stats from the first few games. When all this started, the odd thing was, no one every said that the Shepherd’s said Matt wasn’t a good player. If you had been there you would have found the events to be as strange as the rest of us. Stefan was the kicker the two years before. All of the players talked about how much better Stefan was than Matt at practice, Matt starts. That was not the usual thing to do, but it was Gillespie’s decision. Matt did not do well the first few games. He improved as the year went on and did a great job then and again this year, but at first he did poorly. It was weird that Gillespie didn’t let Stefan kick after Matt missed a few. That is what any other coach would have done. It wasn’t just the first game, but the next and I think again at the third game. If it was my kid, I would have wondered what was going on and that was how this all started. Stefan wasn’t the only kid that this happened to. It was just really strange. If the object of the game is to win and a player is having a bad game, you’d think the coach would put in another player. What is not being said is the Shepherd’s never asked for anything other than why Stefan didn’t get a chance. The day they asked was the game where Stefan got in trouble. It’s hard to tell what he really was supposed to have done. It changed a lot and no one ever said who really heard what the kid said and no one saw anything. At first a lot of people saw it and heard it. Around school we thought it was weird that if a kid did something bad enough to get suspeneded, he would have gotten in trouble at the game not the next Monday. That wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but the rumor was the kid had said something terrible. Gossip being what it is at a school usually a teacher that heard a kid say something terrible would be telling everyone that would listen. None of us ever heard who “heard” the Stefan say the terrible thing. Then we saw the email Worrell sent to Dr. Grier. I was surprised that she was as cruel as she was. She made Stefan sound like a gang member and made his mother sound terrible. The weirdness continued here. In the email Worrell never said who heard the kid say the terrible things. She also said something about Mr. Shepherd meeting with Cockerham earlier. She left out that the meeting was about Lee loosing his temper toward Mr. Lee after a game. Many of us read the information that the Shepherd’s sent back and forth. Unless I missed something, they didn’t tell the Shepherd’s who heard the terrible thing Stefan said until late November. Then they said it was Jeremy Godwin, he was suposedly a coach. He may have been part time or a volunteer but none of us had ever heard of him. There was a rumor that he was an assistant for Gillespie at Trinity. It was all very strange. The reason it was of such interest to everyone was because none of it made sense and there was such an effort to not say anything that would have ended all the questions. I wish someone out there who has all the info that passed back and forth would come forward. A lot of us felt sorry for all of the kids that were treated like this. This difference was the Shepherd’s dared to fight for their kid. I get the impression that everyone is getting bored with this that is a shame. I don’t think the issue was whether Stefan player football or not, I think it was about why parents could get no one to answer questions and why some of the people at Page were allowed to hurt and embarrasss Stefan. I hope someone has a copy of all the documentation. I wish I did, it would make you be very careful and concerned for your children.

  • kbh thinks jls and bruce are stupid said,

    Seriously, both of you parents need help…Who cares?..I’m sure that all of the Page Parents are happy that your son left…Had Grimsley had a good kicker they may have won the game between Page and Grimsley…Again, who cares?..Your son is a freaking kicker, and the kicker that Page has is better anyway…

    What is really sad here is that you have two parents who coddle their little bitty baby boy and will not let him move on without his whiny parents who think they can fight and fight and fight over something so stupid…I don’t even need to know the situation, but I can tell you that if I didn’t like the administration or coaching staff or my psychiatrist (which the both of you should seek) then I would just move on…The number of people that live in Greensboro could care less about some spoiled kid who has to have his parents take up for him…Let me let you in on something that I do know about, which is I’ve seen parents coddle their children all the time and fight over petty crap like this that usually causes the child to end up damaged…My recommendation to the Shepards is to let it go…Seek help and spend your money venting on a psychiatrist, instead of paying off officials that help steal or show you emails that should be confidential…

  • jls said,

    kbh – your poor kid… hope you have no children… or if you do they never need your help

    None of the emails I’ve talked about were confidential or stolen… check the policy on emails

    The great thing about blogs is those of us who care about a subject can say what we want, if you aren’t interested don’t read the blog and don’t respond. You were interested enough to type a response.

    I bet you are one of the one of the parents that complain about every kid but yours but when it is your kid in trouble you scream and rant. Anyway the point isn’t about the kids or who was the better player it was about broken rules and policies.

    By the way… paying off officials may be more the style of the other kickers parents.

  • J. Bruce Shepherd said,

    To kbh:

    There is a difference between coddling, spoiling and defending. For someone who “doesn’t even need to know the situation” you certainly have a lot of ideas and opinions.

    While you may think this is “petty crap,” a lot of people do not. You have a right to your opinion, as do we all. Obviously, it is good that we have these forums for people like you to vent, and you are correct – many things should be confidential, but every email I’ve spoken of, and the ones jls has apparently seen, were not confidential, nor was there a need for them to be stolen. They were sent to, or sent by me, and copied to any number of people. There was never any implication of confidentiality with regard to the emails of which I have spoken.

    Thank you for your concern, I’ll give your (obviously well intended) opinions and advice the time and consideration it deserves.

  • jls said,

    I think, what we have here is a situation that is unfortunate, has many sides and may never see resolution. Those of you who are so shallow as to think that this is as simple as one child being a better player than another or that this is a case of whinny parents not admitting their son was not the better player, are saddly mistaken. For any of us, myself included, to make judgments about something for which we do not have all the details and facts, is sad. It may be human nature to do so, we all love to make fun of someone going through a rough period in their lives.

    It could be this is not the proper venue for this to play out. The point I have been trying to make is this not about who is the better player or parents that refuse to accept what is handed to their child by a coach, coaches or the administration. It is about the way a situation was handled and whether those who handed it did so in an improper manner. If any of us allow anyone to mistreat a child, regardless of the reason, we should be ashamed of ourselves. I am just that and that is why I have chosen to comment here.

    Let’s all remember that regardless of the reasons, regardless of who is right and who is wrong; we are dealing with children. kbh is right about one thing, children do get “damaged”. It is too easy and there are too many venues for children to be mean to each other. Children have and always will be mean to each other, but the difference now is parents condone it and help. Those of us who have used this, or any other venue, to make accusations, snide or derogatory remarks about any child, those involved here or anywhere else, should be embarrassed by our behavior. That should never be acceptable behavior and that our culture now promotes and condones this is sad.

    I am as guility as everyone else. . I allowed my disgust for the comments made by kbh to let me stoop to his level and I too made a regrettable comment about parents that was based in rumor and not fact. While I did not mention names and there a more than two kickers involved here, it as petty and I want to publicly apologize for the remark. I cannot allow myself to do what I am ranting about other parents doing.

    I wish the Shepherd’s well, especially Stefan. I wish things had turned out differently for him at Page, but from all appearances, things have gone well for him this year. His parents fight, as I know it, was long and hard. Was everything they said and thought correct? No, it wasn’t. There are two sides to every story. Our children never tell us the complete truth about what they do. The problem here was the situation was handle so poorly, that the facts as to what did and did not happen, got distorter and the actions of those involved became the central issue.

    Regardless of what did or did not happen, no matter what you believe or don’t belieive, or who you blame or not blame, this is a sad story. Children were treated badly and will continue to be treated this way. Those of us who kept quiet last year should have taken action and I for one wish I had. I have done what I could here. How or if the Shepherd’s handle this is up to them. I hope they get what they need and deserve. I also caution them that while I suppport them fully and understand their stand, to remember that as I said there are two sides to everything and almost always, any rumor or accusation is based in fact and there is always someone, somewhere that has proof of the factual part. Based on what I saw, knew and read you were and are (if you still are) right to fight for your child. The actions of others, those you are well aware of, were wrong regardless of what incident instigated them. I just ask that you, as I would myself and all parents, to keep the flaws of our children in mind when we fight for them. If we overlook those flaws, we are sometimes put in a position where the thing we are fighting for is dismissed because we have not accounted for both sides.

  • kbh said,

    “I think, what we have here is a situation that is unfortunate, has many sides and may never see resolution,” stated by jls (or some form of the Shepard family)…If this is really what it is then let it go already…Supposedly, Stefan’s in a better place and Page loves their kicker, so just let it go and help Stefan with his homework for these last few months before he is off to college…”It may be human nature to do so, we all love to make fun of someone going through a rough period in their lives,” stated by JLS…If you are calling this a rough period in your life then I’m ashamed and think your family is a little more spoiled that what I initially thought…There are millions of other families who have it much worse off than what you are going through…If this is such a rough period in your life then pray about it (that is if you believe in God or other higher being)…Pray to get through it and let it go…Nothing good comes from holding grudges…”Children have and always will be mean to each other, but the difference now is parents condone it and help,” stated by JLS…This is so true, but when will you learn to let Stefan take up for himself?..It is not like he is a kindergarten kid on a school ground…He is a senior in high school getting ready to go to college…When he gets out of college and his boss is mean to him, will you email his boss and let him know that he is wrong?…Cut the umbilical cord already and let him grow up…When I mentioned damaging the child, I was talking about you coddling him at such an older age…To me, and I’m just an outsider looking in trying to give you feedback, whether you like or not…Both you and your husband appear to have much deeper issues…By the way, you have already started apologizing for some previous remarks and this is a good start…

    Bruce you are right…I didn’t need to comment on something that I think is so petty, but truth be told I was bored…My suggestion for your family is to have a great Thanksgiving and be happy that you even get to enjoy a Turkey today…Be thankful that Stefan is healthy, can walk, and even kick sometimes…Some parents don’t have that…

  • J. Bruce Shepherd said,

    Just for the record, and so kbh can stop being so full of himself (as are his backers who shall remain unnamed), jls is not part of my family, nor is (he/she) working for, related to or associated with me or my family. I hope you have nice nice Thanksgiving too and perhaps you won’t choke on your self righteousness and you too, can grow up.

    Also, for the reocrd, as you obviously think this is about football – it isn’t, and never has been; again, your backers aways said it was, and will continue to think so. My son will be able to grow up and be successful, simply because he is allowed to grow and be strong with guidance and support. He is beginning to be ready to move on – it is a process. He is not perfect, but he is still a high school kid – a fact you seem to have forgotten as you have criticized. He was left out of the discussions between adults for exactly these reasons – he was left out of decisions regarding transferring, because it wasn’t about football and wasn’t his decision. It was important for him to LEAVE Page .

    When the original events took place, he was still an underaged kid. Perhaps you believe that bashing a kid is ok, but I don’t. You should be proud of yourself for adding to that, but it’s obvious, you’re one of the people who would rather protect adults who do hurt kids, as you are one of them.

    As a teaching professional, I’ve seen kid bashing to the extreme. As a coach, I’ve delt with over zealous parents, as well as know-nothings like you. Coaches are supposed to teach and coach…there are some of us who still believe that.

    You want to attack me? I love my kids. So attack. You’re pathetic.

  • jls said,

    kbh – for someone who is an outsider looking in, you sure seem to know a lot about this. I have never met the Shepherd’s but it certainly seems as you have. I think I know who you are and if you are that person, you would know who I am if you would think about it. If you are who I think you are, I don’t think you are in a position to talk about holding grudges.

    I to wonder if your original statement of “who cares” was true, I have to wonder why you not only responded the first time, but did so again. It’s not like this is the first blog that comes up when you come to this site. You must have been interested, bored or not to go to this blog and comment as extensively as you did.

    Since when do children stop needing their parents in high school. I suppose you support the parents that posed online as a teenage boy and taunted another teenager… to the point that she committed suicide. I suppose you and the people like you support the parents that posed and blame the parents of the child that died because obviously they must have coddled her or she would have been tough enough to handle it since she was, afterall, a teenager.

    It is still curious to me why someone would extend as much energy as you have for something they don’t care about. It is also strange that you would assume that I am a member of the Shepherd family. I’m not, you may not believe that and whether you do or not falls into the “who cares” category you mentioned. More to the point, if you are who I think you are, it would be a comfort to you to think I am a member of the Shepherd family, it has to be just a bit frightening to think that maybe there are people out here that are aware of what was done, by whom it was done and the extend “folks” went to to make sure things turned out as they did.

    If you are who I think you are and you wonder what made me think of you, it was your choice of words and phrases in your first comment. Additionally, I will see you in church on Sunday and my family will sit near your family and you can wonder what I know and what I don’t know. I may even ask if you have seen all the blogs about the Shepherd kid and see h0w you react.

    Reply if you will, that’s the point of this type format. You have every right to your opinion and every right to express it. What you have seemed to miss is that I have the same right, as do the Shepherd’s and every other person who has responded. Surely you are not suggesting that because you don’t like a subject, talk that subject should be stopped because you decided no one was interested. If that were to happen, wouldn’t the people here be coddling you?

    In regard to your question as to when “I” will let Stefan take up for himself. That’s not my place since he is not my child. But since you asked that question, it appears you seemto think he had something for which to take up for himself.

    Also, while I am not the wife you appear to be implying I am, you are right, I was correct to apolgize for stooping to your level. Thank you for agreeing that your level to which I stooped, is in fact worthy of apology. I will agree with Mr. Shepherd in that you, kbh, appear to be just a wee bit self righteous. You like being able to make your points, throw your jabs but don’t seem to want the rest of us to have the same privilege, that goes back to my earlier comment regarding drinking the kool-aid and goose-stepping.

  • StevePage said,

    WOW! Great reading! I have been out of the blog loop lately as well as out of town. I am back in town and have lots to add. I am very close to this situation and know lots of info that I witnessed first hand about many of the issues addressed. To include, Bob Via, The Shepards, The Milliors,Coaching at Page, (or lack of),the Barnards,and many others. Rusty and Terry,Gillespie and his nephew,and why the correct coach wasn’t hired.
    Most importantly, Tha Shepard issue is HUGE. I know the real deal. There is much more to it and I applaud Mr. Shepard and jls for finally speaking the truth. I have my oldest kid at Page and have begged him to transfer to Grimsley. Page is ruining him. I can assure you that my ohter kids will not attend PAGE. They will be whirlies. NO Rusty LEE.

    More later!

  • StevePage said,

    To begin with where would you like to start? Shepards and transfers?

  • StevePage said,

    And by the way, Mr. Bell is only in it for the story, not the kids. He has proven this over and over again.

  • TB said,

    There is a lot more to this story than I can tell right now but I can promise you that it has (unnamed) shaking in his shoes. I will soon expose all of the wrongdoers at Page High School and when I do, many lives will change forever. This story was offered to the News and Record and it was not taken seriously. It will be told here, on these pages. I will wait to hear more feedback before I tell my story. I wish Bob Via would tell his story but Bob and his family have moved on and they are better for it. I would also hope that the Shepherd family could move on as well. Young Stefan has moved on to a better school and should put this bad episode behind him (as should Bruce). I am more concerned about the environment at Page and how it is affecting the young people that are still there. I work as a public servant and I feel that shining some light on what is going on at Page is in the publics best interest. If the News and Record won\’t do, maybe greensboro sports.com will!

  • ctc said,

    Ask former page baseball, volleyball, trainer, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, wrestling coaches. Lots of people.

  • Mary Decker said,

    This blog was the most talked-about thing at our Thanksgiving party last night that I couldn’t wait to read it. Now that I have, I’m furious. I don’t have a dog in this fight. My kids will attend Grimsley and I hope they don’t play football (too violent for me). But I am a neighbor of the reporter some of you people are attacking. I think I know him pretty well. To StevePage: You said that Rob was only in it for the story. Besides hiding behind a fake name, you didn’t offer any proof! If you want to remain a coward fine. But you can still be a coward and give everyone examples. How about three? Was he in it only for the story and not the kids when he wrote about Page’s football team a few years ago? Rob wrote several nice stories about a co-worker of mine who’s son had cancer and later died. He took Cory to a Bobcats game and let him meet the players beforehand. That doesn’t souond like someone in it for the story. JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE WRITES A STORY YOU DON’T LIKE DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOOT THE MESSENGER! To J Bruce Shepard: Even if what you say is true about Page and all the stuff that’s going on there, it seems like you left because of football. You said you didn’t want to get into all that with Rob and yet you’ve done just that here. So that was a major reason for you leaving Page. And it all stemmed from football. If your son had stayed on the team and been the kicker and none of this crap with the school had taken place, would you have left? I’m honestly asking. If you would have left anyway, then why bring all this up? Maybe because it was a reason why you left. It didn’t surprise me when Rob came to your son’s defense here. It says alot about his character. When other anonymous people like StevePage attack his, what does it say about you? I thought this was “about the issue”? I used my name here because I believe what I think and stand behind it. The rest of you should try it yourself. If you have something you can PROVE you don’t need to hide.

  • ConcernedPageParent said,

    Andy – Let me begin by saying that over the years, I have grown to respect your work. You have shown a great deal of interest in high school athletics and have always been very supportive of the area’s high school programs. Along with Jim Medlin, your radio broadcasts have given a lot of exposure to area teams that they otherwise would not have. That being said, I was very disappointed when I read this article and saw the comments that followed. You have given a disgruntled parent with an ax to grind a forum with which to spread lies and half truths against the entire Page athletic program. For years, Page has been the gold standard for excellence both on the playing fields and in the classroom. Because of this, there is much jealousy towards Page. These lies that you are allowing to spread only hurt the young people at Page. I appeal to you Andy, someone who has the young people’s best interest at heart, to please take down this entire article before it is too late. The more that is exposed about this situation, the more it could hurt the young people and could possibly lead to some adults losing their livelyhood. Please Andy, do it for the kids!

  • jls said,

    ConcernedPageParent – If you are in fact, concerned, you may want to have all the facts before you decide that those commenting here are wrong. Just because some may consider Page to be the “Gold Standard” does not mean that there cannot be problems. No one, has said implied that there is a problem with the academics at Page. No one has inplied there is a problem with the sports program at Page. What has been said is that there are some people that are employed at, associated with or were associated with Page that made some bad decisions and mistakes and handled several situations poorly.

    If as you the truth comes out and someone loses their livelyhood, it would be because those people made a decision to act unprofessionally and as such broke policies and went against published proceedures. If there is not problem as you suggest, then it should be of no interest or concern to anyone and as such no one would lose their livelyhood. Sadly children have been harmed, not just the Shepherd child but many others. I cannot believe as a concerned parent you would or could condone this.

    Y9ur last statement is disturbing. It sounds as if you are well aware that there are problems and well aware of these problems surface it will be revealed that the severity of problems would such that someone may loose their job. As for young people getting hurt, that has already happened and will continue. In the context you wrote, I have to wonder if the young people you refer to are those that were used as pawns.

    These children have been wrong as much as anyone because they have learned that it is okay for their parents, coaches and administrators to do whatever they want as long as they don’t get caught or have their actions questions. They are also learning that when these actions are called into question, instead of acting responsibly they blame others and press the wrong issues.

    I don’t understand why you and a few others want the discussion stopped. If you are right and those who disagree with you are lying and there are no problems, then nothing said here should matter. If we are right and there is a problem, the only people harmed from this blog would be those involved in wrongdoing. As such one has to wonder if maybe you are aware of the problems and have concerns as to how it would affect you if these discussions are allowed to continue.

    Mary Decker – Your concern for your friend is admirable. All you said may be true and I don’t doubt it is. That does not mean that Mr. Shepherd and the others commenting here are wrong. Mr. Bell may have written many positive articles but the fact may still remain that as a reporter, he does what all reporters do, writes his story in such a way that it can be said someone was misquoted but by leaving off the quatation marks and changing the phrasing just a little it sounds better for the story. Look at the quotes from Mr. Bell’s emails, he first says he used the term “advanced classes” when speakiing with Mr. Lee. Later he uses “Sci-Vis” in regard to the article and when speaking with Lee, this is a huge error. It changes the context of what he is reporting and what he asked Mr. Lee.

  • J.B Shepherd said,

    Thank you to everyone that has had the courage to reply with your supportive comments. This has been a long and, at times, lonely process, for both me, my son and our family. As many people would want you to believe, this is not now, nor has it ever been about what position Stefan or if he played at all. It was about people not acting responsibly and professionally and those who not only condoned but encouraged their actions.

    Everyone has a right to their opinion, just as I have a right to mine. Those of you who choose to say that I chose to fight this battle on this site are incorrect. Mr. Bell’s article appeared here and then people chose to comment. I chose to reply to these comments, which is my right.

    Again, I would like to say that I do not know who jls is, but I would like to. Whoever jls is, he/she seems to know the truth, as do some of the other people that have begun to comment. Thank you jls for responding as you have in defense of my son and my efforts.

  • J. B Shepherd said,

    Just for those individuals who think that I baby my son, well, I did give him a spanking last night for bad behavior. This goes to show you that I do not condone the bad behavior of my son.

  • J. B. Shepherd said,

    To the editor: I did not post the comment at 9:07 this morning. Please remove it.

    To whom it may concern: It is obvious that the parties responsible for the 9:07 comment feel the need to stoop to these tactics, instead of having mature conversation. The asinine remarks are not worthy of the tone nor the tenor of the conversation.

  • mbl said,

    It’s pathetic that adults cannont have conflicting opinions about and discuss a subject without having someone pose as someone else, demand that the conversation be stopped because they don’t like it or find it necessary to make uneducated, ill tempered remarks that add nothing to the conversation.

    As always, there are those who want a forum to discuss, complain or defend issues they are passionate about, but have no desire to allow others to do the same if an issue is presented in a way that is opposite of their opinion.

    As with anything, there are two sides to every story, for the most part this has been a place where both opinions should be voiced. Those of you are so shallow and narrow-minded that you cannot contribute to the conversation without making nasty remarks or judgments about something about which you can’t possibly know all the facts have still been allowed to comment. Many of you seemed angry that your comments have been rebutted or that someone called to task. Isn’t this the purpose of these forums? Isn’t this called conversation?

  • sburg2007 said,

    Aftet having watched this issue unfold here, I would like to comment. I have knowledge of this situation, on both sides. I am not here to make accusations or cast aspersions in refernce to either side of the issue, just to comment on what has been said.

    Bell – you seemed to have acted as the majority of reporters, taking the information presented to you and choosing how to present it. Whether this is right or wrong is not for me to decide, but your choices have made for confusion. Clearly your choice to interchange “Sci-Vis” and “Advanced Classes” was a poor one. Space limitations in this case doesn’t seem to be a good reason for your choice. It seems odd that Mr. Lee, Ms. Foley or anyone else would be hard pressed to find a comment that is true to be offensive. Ms. Foley’s coment seems to imply that it was okay for Mr. Lee to comment since the thought negative comments had been made. It also seems Ms. Foley and someone from GCS told Mr. Lee what to say. That’s frightening. It seems that if I had a child at Page and said I didn’t like something about the school, let’s say because my child had a medical condition and I felt their needs weren’t being met, that Ms. Foley & the GCS administration would feel that it is okay to release my child’s medical information. Privite information is just that, private and release of such information is not up for debate.

    To those of you that have made comments directly about Stefan or Bruce. Personal attacks to nothing to add to the dialog and only make rational people dismiss your comments, regardless of the side they are on.

    kbh – Both kickers missed at various points in the season. I don’t see Page in the playoffs. You seem to go from one extream to the other. You aren’t interested, only bored, but you comment again. Having knowledge of the details of this situation, I agree your choice of words in your first comments reveals who you may be. You second post seems that you need to feel that jls and the Shepherd’s are connected, if not, there may be problems. Comments don’t seem to be that of an outsider looking in. I have to wonder if it hit a nerve when jls mentioned seeing you at church.

    To the person who posed at Bruce and posted the moronic comments – Did you really think anyone would think Bruce would write that? It added nothing to dialog and made you look like a buffoon.

    To those who want this discussion removed – If this is a non-issue and nothing really happened, why do you care what is discussed here?
    no
    ConcernPageParent – Your post may be the most disturbing. Bruce may well be disgruntled, who are any of us to say he does not have great cause to be so. Your comments sound as if you know all the details and are afraid if this continues, you may have something to lose. To meniton someone losing their livelyhood is a strong concern. If there is nothing to know and lies are being spread, you would think as educated professionals, anyone accused of wrong doing would have documentation that backs up their actions and therefore have no concern of actions being taken that would cause them to lost e their livelyhood. I’m sure there is a good reason why everything happened as it did. For example, I’m sure there is a good reason why a child would be remove from a chemisty class, while taking a test, to have a meeting with a coach. I’m sure there is good reason why when he asked to have a parent present in this meeting, with 3 adults, that they child was told it didn’t concern his parents (that surely comforts me as a parent) and when the child’s mother arrived she was told they the(the 3 adults) were handling it and had the door to the room closed in her face. I’m also sure there was a good reason for the door being locked when she arrived and an even better reason why no one came to the door until she pounded on the door. I agree with jls, you seemed to be very concerned about what will happen if comments are continued here.

    Andy – I agree the comment Bruce didn’t post should be removed, but would be disappointed if the dialog, good bad or indifferent were to be stopped or this story and associated comments were to be removed.

  • trd said,

    By all means, take down that fake Bruce Shepherd comment. Folks should know by now that Bruce is the only one allowed here to post under fake names to show he has support. Bruce, that’s your cue to have jls or any of your other psudonyms come to your aid. BTW, you still haven’t answered that lady’s question: You claim you didn’t want to get into all the Page crap with the paper yet you’ve done nothing but do that here. So clearly that seems to be a major reason for you guys leaving Page. And all that crap stemmed from FOOTBALL. So you did leave for football reasons. If your son had stayed on the team and been the kicker and none of this crap with the school had taken place, would you have left? If you would have left anyway, then why not leave years earlier when you knew these classes weren’t available? Why leave only after your son quit/got kicked off the team? OK, Bruce (aka JBL/sburg) still waiting to answer this one

  • mbl said,

    trd – is it so hard for you to believe that there may be others who agree with the Shepherd’s? Why did you not include StevePage, tct and tb? Those people seem to know what was going on too. Whoever you are, if you think poor and improper treatment of a child is “carp”, that says a lot about you.

    If you would read, you would see the question you referred to was answered.

  • jls said,

    trd – Speaking of psudonyms – is ” trd” you Kevin?

  • sburg2007 said,

    trd – Come on – I agree with mbl, if think jls and I are really Shepherd, why not mention StevePage, tct and tb, they don’t seem to think that this is crap. Bruce has commented frequently using his name. He hasn’t hidden up to now, why would he neen to start. You sound like you may be in the same situaition as ConcernedPageParent and kbh. Also makes me wonder if maybe you weren’t the one to post the fake comment in the first place.

    StevePage, tct and tb seem to have as many concerns as the Shepherd’s, why not take them to task? That makes me wonder if you don’t have a something personal against Bruce or his family. Again if it is crap, why do you care what is said and what is posted.

    Bell’s story and Lee’s comments started all this.

  • J.B. Shepherd said,

    To trd: I have no reason to post as anyone other than myself. That’s why I put my name out here in the first place. Oddly, if sburg2007 was me, why did he have to call me to tell me about your post?

    I’m sure this is upsetting to you and the other “folks” you are working with. You must be really upset to feel this coming closer and closer to home.

    I have the courage to post as myself. Why not post as yourself if you feel so strongly?

    BTW, for the “folks” out there watching…it was only Gillespie that ever referred to Stefan as “quitting” the team.

  • trd said,

    Still waiting for you to answer the question Bruce/jls et al: You claim you didn’t want to get into all the Page crap with the paper yet you’ve done nothing but do that here. So clearly that seems to be a major reason for you guys leaving Page. And all that crap stemmed from FOOTBALL. So you did leave for football reasons.

    1. If your son had stayed on the team and been the kicker and none of this crap with the school had taken place, would you have left?

    2. If you would have left anyway, then why not leave years earlier when you knew these classes weren’t available? Why leave only after your son quit/got kicked off the team?

    Do I think you are posting under numerous names? Of course I do. I’d still like to get to the truth. That’s why I’m asking.

  • jls said,

    trd – You didn’t answer my question. Is this you Kevin?

  • J.B. Shepherd said,

    Okay, here goes. While I have answered this, I’ll do it again.

    trd, read slowly and carefully.

    Based on what I was told by Bell was the focus of his story, I answered his questions. At the time there was no need to get into the details. I had been told many times by members of the staff and administration at Page and members of the school board and Dr. Grier that Stefan and I needed to “get over” this and “move on”. That’s what we were doing. What I told Bell was the truth. Rusty Lee, choosing to comment and Bell choosing to paraphrase my comments are what prompted me to comment on the story. Regardless of your opinion or the opinion of anyone else, the issue here is not now or has it ever been about football. The questionable actions of Gillespie bring the only relevance that football has into this issue. What followed had nothing to do with football; it had to do with the cruel and relentless actions of several members of the staff and administration at Page, and eventually members of the school board and Dr. Grier.

    Although I believe you may be one of the prime instigators – if not you should rush over to apply for a job with the Page athletic department immediately, or at least with the GCSS. You seem to subscribe to their theory that as long as you ignore the facts and keep harping on a non-issue, then the people posing the questions will eventually get tired and go away.

    1. That’s hard to say. Had things been as you say neither I, nor my son, would have gone through the hell we have this past year. Had the coaches, staff and administration acted properly, I would have had no cause for concern. In fact, had this been about football, the poor treatment of my son would have ended when football was over for him. Instead, he was subjected to cruel and unjust abuses throughout the fall.

    Regardless, there is a very good possibility that a transfer would have been requested so that my son could continue with Sci-Vis. We had already begun researching options with his current teachers at Page. Unfortunately we never had a choice because due to what happened at Page, I had to move my son away from Page; GCS decided he would go to Grimsley.

    Go back through the blogs. I’m not the one who keeps bringing up football – you are.

    2. This is a preposterous question. I, nor any other parent, can know what courses will or will not be offered years in advance. The Sci-Vis curriculum is relatively new and currently in development. It was as likely as not that the next level could have been added and available at Page. No one would have known that until sometime last year. As jls would say, it’s not like, oh, let’s say “weightlifting,” or some other challenging course that doesn’t change year to year.

    The most interesting thing about the next part of your question is that you refer to my son as having “quit.” The only person who claimed Stefan “quit” (over and over again, even though Stefan protested) was Gillespie. Although you assert this is about football, the fact is these issues are related to how the entire process, before, during and after, was handled. Do you have any insight? If so, please share.

    Think what you will, that’s your prerogative. As for the truth – this is the truth. I doubt it is something you care to accept but it is again, your prerogative.

    Since I have answered your questions, I would like to ask why you didn’t do the same. Why didn’t you respond to the questions that were asked regarding why you had no comments or questions for StevePage, ctc or TB? Again, is this hitting so close to home that you are upset or nervous? Is it correct, as suggested by sburg2007 – that you have a personal problem with me? It certainly would seem so.

    Additionally, while I do know sburg2007, I have no idea who jls is, but as I have said, I would like to. Do I think you will believe what I have written? No, I don’t, no more than you believe anything else I have written. Do I care? Absolutely not! Do I wonder if you are Gillespie? Yes, because you use the word “crap” as frequently as he, and because you keep referring to my son as having “quit”.

    As a footnote to everyone reading this, there is a mountain of documentation to support my claims of how my son was treated. This documentation includes letters, emails and recordings of meetings. All of this documentation was presented to those in authority at Page and ignored. A Formal Grievance was filed and handled improperly; an appeal was filed and ignored. Lastly, in exasperation, I contacted the School Board for help. Unfortunately, Dr. Grier interceded, claiming at first he was unaware of the situation (he had been sent the information many times), then claiming he had been kept informed (which contradicts his own words claiming he was “unaware”), then making statements to the board that contradicted the statements he made to me, and finally dismissing me with a letter that contained contradictions, misinformation and in several instances – blatant mistruths.

    For those who think that jls has to have some connection to me due to (what appears to be) his/her extensive knowledge of the situation, you should know that this information was distributed to many people. It would have been very easy for someone to get a copy.

  • Tad said,

    Bruce – why don’t you provide all of this documentation to Andy and let this website do a story on this situation. If what you say is true, this is a story that needs to get out and this is the place and Andy is the guy to do it. Andy and Jim Medlin know high school sports.

  • trd said,

    Bruce: You answered my question and I appreciate it. Thanks. First, let me say that I believe Page may not have handled things well. Why? Because nobody seems to be rushing to Page’s defense in this blog. That should put to rest your belief that I’m from Page. Actually, I’m an attorney whose son goes to WG and has watched doezens of WG students transfer to Grimsley. Being an attorney, I like to deal with facts that are presented. But I’ll take you on your word that Stefan was kicked off the team (or cut) — whatever. That said, I still believe you and your son left Page over football. Had you answered question 1 with: “We would have left regardless of what happened with football” I would have believed you. But you didn’t. You left because of how you and your son were treated after Stefan was cut from football. To me that seems to be a decision based in no small part on something that stemmed from football — especially when you say you might have stayed had your son remained on the football team. So based on what your son said in the paper and your above comments, I’m inclined to think you guys left for reasons related to football. I’m not criticizing either of you for that choice. A parent and child should have the right to go to any school in the county (in my opinion). You seem hellbent on blaming the paper for your current troubles. I’ll assume the e-mails are legit since the reporter didn’t refute them (why would he/she? They seem innocent to me. He/she seems to go out of his/her way to explain things to you). Anyway, as a casual reader, I don’t see the harm in saying advanced classes vs. sci-vis classes. You are right in that the story would have been more thorough by mentioning it, but it does not change the thrust of the story whatsoever (again, in my opinion): that your son and others in the county transfered for athletics. As for Mr. Lee’s comments, again assuming the e-mails are legit, the reporter repeated your concerns about a lack of sci-vis classes to Rusty Lee who was following his superiors instructions to comment in a specific way. Your beef iappears to be with them and not Lee.

    By the way, your formal grievance was filed was handled improperly, IN YOUR OPINION. An appeal was filed and ignored, IN YOUR OPINION. Just because things didn’t go your way doesn’t necessarily mean it was handled imporperly or ignored. Unless, of course, you have proof of this. Do you?

  • jls said,

    trd – I hope Mr. Shepherd replies to you, but I would like to do the same. In this case I’m commenting not in defense of the Shepherd’s but because I am in a room with 6 attorneys, one of which is my husband. They are all laughing so hard they are in tears and insisting that I reply to you. “Being an attorney, I like to deal with facts that are presented”. This is a blog, trd, as you keep pointing out these are opinions. Nothing written can be taken as “fact”, I include what I have written. While I believe everything I have written to be true, I’m not sure, my writing it here makes it “fact”.

    None of us can see how anyone can answer the question the way you wanted it answered. If things hadn’t been handled improperly and the next level of Sci-Vis had been added at Page, why would he have his son leave. If things had not gone wrong and the classes not added, a transfer may have been requested. Short of being a psychic, how would Mr. Shepherd or any other paren, have been able to answer the question the way you wanted it answered.

    One thing that I will say adamantly, is in my opinion, there is a huge problem with Robert Bell saying “advanced classes” to Lee instead of “Sci-Vis” classes. If he had said “Sci-Vis”, Rusty would not have had a complaint, Page doesn’t have the next level of classes. By saying “advanced classes” it gave Rusty a platform to start problems, something that he is very good at. In this case Bell’s intent may not have been to start a problem but by choosing to interchange the terms, he did.

    Also, as the six attorneys here with me have pointed out, you should be aware that to comment on a situation as to why a student did anything is not a good idea, especially if doing so is in direct violation, in this case, of GCS policy.

    None of us see where you get Mr. Shepherd is “hellbent on blaming the paper” for anything. But that’s just my opinion. If you read all that has been written, including what Mr. Bell writes, I don’t see how you get that, but as I said that’s my opinion and as I am to mine, you are to yours.

    It is interesting that you write “Just because things didn’t go your way doesn’t necessarily mean it was handled imporperly or ignored”, that is almost the thing I remember seeing in an email to Mr. Shepherd from Dr. Grier. Then again, Dr. Grier would one time state their wasn’t a grievance, then he would admit there was, then go back to there was not. Then Grier, and this addresses your statement, apologizes for the grievance not being handed properly and, and this is the best part, rants at Mr. Shepherd for not going with the ruling of one of his (Grier’s) senior staff at the grievance meeting (the meeting for the same grievence he (Grier) said wasn’t a grievance. It would have been more impactful if the person Grier was referring to had actually been at the meeting. I hope Mr. Shepherd will comment on this. I may not have it completely right because I don’t have it in front of me. I am admitting that openly (and have been admitting that). The one thing I remember for sure, because everyone had such a laugh over it was in Grier’s effort to make the Shepherd’s go away he made a statement that shows how much care and professionalism went into crafting his (Grier’s) replies. The statement was …. playing sports is a right, not a privilege.

    I’m glad I’m out of the picture as far as GCS. If not, I may be concerned that Grier would call my employer to complain as he has with others who have said something he didn’t like. (This can be found in a N&R article).

    I’m sure you will blast me rtd, go ahead. My only regret is that I leave tomorrow tomorrow and my vacation being over, will no longer have time to comment here. I hope Mr. Shepherd has some sort of reply.

  • trd said,

    Sorry to let you down, but I’m not going to trash you or anyone who replies in a thoughtful manner. Of course it was poor on Lee?Page’s part to comment. And believe me, I know what is fact and not when it comes to this blog. But it’s all we have to go with in terms of “facts.” One last point that I don’t undersand:

    • FROM AN EMAIL FROM MR. BELL ON 11/19:
    MY CONVERSATION WITH MR. LEE
    1. I WAS NOT BOUND BY SPACE WITH MR. LEE. I SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED TO HIM YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT EXHAUSTING THE SCI-VIS CLASSES AVAILABLE AT PAGE.

    He may not have put it in the story, but basd on this e-mail snippet, hementioned sci-vis (whatever that is) to Mr. lee. I just feel Mr. Shepherd isn’t being honest here, My opinion.

  • jls said,

    trd – Thank you.

    I was basing my comments on Bell’s previous email comments :

    From Mr. Bell, 11/16/07: “I agree: You never questioned Page’s academics in our interview. Nor did I imply as much in my interview last week with Mr. Lee. I merely repeated to him the reasons you had explained to me for the transfer — that Stefan had exhausted all the advanced courses available for him at Page. I spoke to Mr. Lee this morning and he confirmed this”.

    and

    From Ms. Foley, 11/15/07: “I can tell you that the reporter gave the slant to Mr. Lee that the transfer was due to Page’s poor academics. (I never told Mr. Lee that the transfer was due to poor academics. I repeated Mr. Shepard’s claim to Mr. Lee. It was Mr. Lee who interpreted Mr. Shepard’s remarks as an indictment against Page academics.)That was certainly a perception that would be an inaccurate portrayal of the academic programs here at Page. I was out of town and did not see the article. However, it was my understanding that Mr. Lee stated only that the transfer was not due to academics.

    The comment you show from Bell comes after the one you show. Just wanted to show where my thoughts were coming from.

  • jls said,

    What I should have typed is, the comment you show comes after the one I have shown.

  • mbl said,

    trd – WOW! Somewhere between 2:07 pm today and 9:26 pm your way of writing, phrasing and commenting. It as if a different person is wrote the first two comments and the last two.

    If one didn’t know better one might think that Shepherd and jls had hit too close to home and someone else was now writing the comments. That’s just my opinion.

    I commend you for going from being obnoxious, inarticulate and abusive to sounding calmly rational and articulate. It’s weird how much you changed. You don’t see that often. Good job!!!

  • jls said,

    I have to give you that one mbl… it does sound like a different person. I like the second person better

  • J.B. Shepherd said,

    trd: It’s amazing how your tone and vocabulary has changed.

    It’s tiresome to constantly have to repeat myself to those who seemed determined not to listen. It’s also tiring when people try to put words in my mouth and claim I said something that I haven’t. I have quoted direct statements that a number of people have made. If you refute the statements, you may want to take it up with them.

    There is no way I could have answered the question the way you wanted. It’s not possible to know what would have happened if wrongdoing hadn’t been done and the Sci-Vis classes had been added. Had they not been added and no wrongdoing done, a transfer would have still been the best option. No matter how I answer this, I’ll be told I’m wrong or lying or hedging… whatever anyone may choose to think, this is the best I can tell you.

    Again, the decision was not based in football. It was based on wrongdoing by many people and the effects these had on my son. This point is not up for debate. I will not change my mind and apparently neither will you… so be it. Just because the issues involved a coach, does not mean it’s about football.

    By the way, I’m not blaming my troubles on the paper. I fault Mr. Bell for, as he says, paraphrasing my comments. As I have said repeatedly making “Sci-Vis” synonymous with “advanced classes” caused Foley to take issue. If Bell had used the term “Sci-Vis” Lee would have had a hard time saying my comments were “negative” because it is fact that Page doesn’t have the next level of classes. Lee knew he shouldn’t comment (fact) and had to embellish to get approval to comment (opinion, mine and that of many others). You are right, my “beef” is with not just Lee but also his superiors, I have said that repeatedly.

    I followed the procedures outlined by GCS and filed a Formal Grievance. A Grievance meeting was held. For many reasons the meeting was a farce and as such, I was instructed not only that I should, but also how to file an appeal to the Formal Grievance.

    The appeal was ignored (I did not receive a reply within five days as stated in the policy. even Grier admitted this was not handled properly).

    Had the Grievance been handled properly and/or had the appeal been handled properly and things had “not gone my way” that would have been a completely different matter.

    Instead I received a letter from Grier. In the letter he stated: 1. the appeal had not been handled properly and 2. the meeting for the Formal Grievance had been presided over, and that a decision had been made by a member of Grier’s senior staff. (There is a bit of a problem here: Not only was the named member of his staff was not in attendance at this meeting, but this same individual is the person who not only encouraged me to file but instructed me on how to file an appeal to the Formal Grievance.)

    Proof? Yes… lots of proof.

  • mbl said,

    I will take a lesson from jls and correct myself. What I meant to say was: Somewhere between 2:07 pm today and 9:26 pm your way of writing, phrasing and commenting changed completely. It as if a different person wrote the first two comments and the last two.

  • GHS77 said,

    Wow Lots of comments. The Shepherd kid seems like a good kid to me, and I’ve met his dad who seems to be a decent guy. No wonder they came over to GHS!

    The blog is good and informative, but I have to ask, who would hire a bipolar “attorney” like the trd guy who claims to be an attorney? Did he forget his meds earlier today? or is he just a bad case of split personality?

  • trd said,

    not a differtent person. Still think Bruce was lying through his teeth about his motives for leaving. I say was because he finally admitted he might have stayed if his son played football. Still think Bruce is using many names here to further his case. Just trying to get to the truth, fellas.

  • trd said,

    Nice to see Bruce and his friends JLS and MBL respond in 37 minutes. That tells me one thing: Bruce and his friends are one in the same or they’re having a great sleepover. Enjoy the popcorn and movies, guys.

  • jls said,

    trd – Looks like the same person who wrote person (or personality as suggests). Again, you’ve made another really silly statement. I’m responding today within 30 minutes of you. Now you’ve included mbl in your conspiracy theory. Let’s see, you mentioned yesterday that you went with the facts as the were presented. I’ll do the same – anyone who agrees with you or makes a point regarding something you say, must be working with the Shepherd’s. Only you are allow to have an opinion and anyone who isn’t swayed by your stellar way of thinking must be either wrong or be someone from the Shepherd family. If we go by your theory every time there is banter on a blog, the people posting are the same person talking to themselves.

    Why did you leave out GHS77? He/she didn’t agree with you? You were so were intense yesterday about Shepherd responding to you, I still ask you, why you didn’t take issue with SteveParent, ctc or TB?

    I was actually enjoying the banter that you were encouraging, particuarly after you posted last evening with actual conversation instead of just nastiness. So as much as you think I’m connected with the Shepherd’s (I’m not), I think you are not a lawyer. I still think you are Kevin Gillespie (first two and last two posts) and that you had someone else post for your third and forth posts. They way you write and the venom in the first two posts is very different than the next two but this morning since you go back to sounding like you did on the first two. Your posts this morning also contradict your last post of yesterday. I may not be right but it sounds like Gillespie, Lee and whoever else they can scrap together are the ones hanging out and taking turns posting. Is Terry there with you or on the phone.

    For those of you who know who I am and have been calling to say hello and tell me that I need to watch what I say because I may get in trouble. Thanks – but O no longer have to worry about veiled threats of losing MY livelyhood if I don’t drink the kool-aid and look the other way. For those of you telling me I am wasting my time arguing with trd, I know, I can’t help myself. I know he is interested only in making his points and couldn’t careless about anything else.

  • jls said,

    Sorry trd, before you point out my mistake, it was more than 30 minutes between your response and mine. With your attention to detail, being an attorney and all, will not allow you to let that slide.

  • Mo said,

    So much for everyone taking the high road in this discussion…seems everyone is sinking too a low level with the nasty comments.

    Lost in all of this is the fact that Stephan told Mr. Bell he transferred because of football…period. That’s what the article was about. Every kid (and their parents) that transfers makes the case that it’s for something other than athletics. Stephan answered the reporter’s question honestly which has led to a whole lot of adults acting/talking like kids.

  • jls said,

    Before I get more calls… I know I’m being petty, but trd’s comments this morning are so silly that I can’t stand not responding. It should tell everyone a lot about trd that all he got out of the posts last night were the times they were posted. He asked questions, he got answers. He didn’t like the answers and comments (it appears only he can make observations and have opinions), so of all the things he to pick on he choose the times that people responded… and it’s not like the responses were 2 or 3 minutes apart… there was a 37 minutes span.

    My first response was about 45 miuntes after trd. I read his post about 10 minutes after he posted and it took me a few minutes to compose my thoughts and type the post. He responded to me 17 minutes later and I to him 2o mintutes later, took a few minutes to find the quote that proved trd wasn’t reading everything before commenting, 11:11 I noticed a mistake, reposted a comment, 11:27 mbl posts, 11:35 I post in response to mbl (who had a good point ), I’d been watching site to see if Shepherd will respond, 12:04 Shepherd responds, 12:09 mbl corrects his/her post – hard to figure that one out, he/she’s re-reading the conversation (as most of us do), notices a mistake, may have usually left it, but saw I had corrected and does the same (what a terrible thing to do, my husband pointed out the it could be possible that mbl was teasing me for correcting my typing since most of us don’t on a blog, if that’s the case… good point mbl), 12:36 GHS77 posts, which for some reason trd doesn’t have a problem with.

    Like I said my comments here are more than petty, but of all the stupid comments I have seen, that 3 people posted withing 37 minutes of each other tops the list. I also realize, as my husband pointed out (must give him credit for trying to stop me from making an ass of myself) that by responding that I am doing exactly what trd wanted and that I look like I’m spending too much time and energy on this point. I can’t help it, it is just so stupid it makes we want to scream. This is a blog trd… that’s what people do here… you post… someone else post… you go again… someone else goes again… sometimes someone may post two times in a row… It would probably be less interesting if there were many hours or days between posts. You may want to try that and see how it works. It would also be boring if everyone agreed with you are you with everyone else. As an attorney, I would have thought you could have come up with something better than this.

    I, not being an attorney, still contend the person who wrote the first 2 posts by trd yesterday that wrote the last 2 yesterday but would agree that the first 2 this morning were written by the same person that wrote the posts this morning. Also as an attorney, you first sarcastic comment yesterday is something you would want to happen. You seem concerned that Shepherd may be posting using other names but don’t have a problem with someone else, someone whose views are closer to yours, posts as Mr. Shepherd.

    As I have said, the great thing about blogs is we get many opinions on a subject, but when someone posts a sarcastic comment using the name of the subject of the blog, that does nothing for either side. It just shows immaturity and lack of ability to convey a thought that might add to the conversation.

    Again as I have said, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I have no problem being challenged on mine or having questions asked, but your point this morning is such a stretch that you have me ranting.

    I’ll give you credit for being the person to make the statement so asinine (my opinion) that I rant and spend time on something that 99.9% of the readers would have noticed anyway.

    You’ll probably respond that for me to spend so much time on this means you hit a nerve with me, you did, but not the one you think. You hit my “why can’t people have intelligent conversation” nerve. Your comment and premise is so dumb, I can’t stand it.

    Friends – please don’t call… I know I have once again stooped a level that was not even worthy of response. This is the second time I’ve gotten so ticked that I went off on a venting jag. At least my husband, brother’s and brother’s-in-law (the 6 lawyers to which I referred last night for those of you who don’t know me, many will now) are laughing and shaking their heads at me instead of trd.

    JKP – Let me know what happened at church this morning, we went early to the other church, but look forward to your report.

  • jls said,

    Good point Mo… while I may have different thoughts, you bring up an excellent point with regard to this blog.

  • sburg2007 said,

    Well it appears I missed a lot by not logging on last night. The first thing I would like to say is according to trd there was a party at Bruce’s house and I wasn’t invited. Just because I live 3 states away is no reason not to invite me to a sleep over and that you watched movies and had popcorn really makes me mad. This is sooooooo funny!!!! Anyone who knows Bruce can guess what he was doing last night and anyone who knows me knows me can do the same and the funny part is I’m not sure if the two events could be less connected. That said, if Bruce wasn’t watching the game of the year on TV (or if he watches a football game does that mean all of this is about football) then I’m pissed that he didn’t come to my kids party. He too could have witnessed my mother annoy my wife to distraction. Anyway… enough of that.

    At the risk of commenting outside of the schedule controlled by trd… I’m going to give MY OPINION. Before you trd or anyone else posts back to tell me, I know no one cares about my opinion, but I like to see my thoughts in print.

    We all have to realize we have two issues here. The article and what happened at Page. In some ways connected but in most ways they are not.

    1)Let’s say Stefan said he transferred for football. Does that mean that was why he transferred? Maybe it’s a case of a teenager saying something that sounded good at the time during the conversation he was having. One of our kids have ever done something like that. Debate it all you will, Bruce contends that Stefan was transferred for Sci-Vis, not football. As we all know now there were other reasons other than Sci-Vis that caused Bruce to feel the need the to transfer his kid away from Page. That Bruce didn’t go into every detail with Robert Bell does not mean there weren’t other reasons, it also doesn’t mean Sci-Vis was not one of the reasons.
    2) Why not tell Robert Bell the entire story? Bruce had many people tell him that Robert Bell has misquoted or taken their comments out of context. Does this make it fact, nope. But it would give me a reason not to trust a reporter with this story. Before anyone bashes me, look at the posts, other people seem to think Bell takes liberties with comments of those he interviews. By the way, his job is to sell papers not win a popularity contest. He also admits to Bruce in an emailt that he paraphrased and he also contridicts himself as to whether he said advanced classes or sci-vis.
    3)There terms advanced classes and sci-vis are not interchangable and this has been one of the things that has caused a lot of the problems. No matter what Lee should not have made a comment, no matter who said he could. Many people know Lee has a problem with Bruce and Lee knows that. Lee committed to get to Bruce and hid behind Foley (MY OPINION). There may be a new pricipal but Lee knew it was inappropriate to comment on any child but for him to comment on Stefan was even more so (MY OPINION). If Bell had used the term Sci-Vis it would have been harder for Lee to convince anyone that Bruce was saying mean thing about Page’s academics. Foley and whoever else approved the comment was wrong but Lee was equally as wrong to make it (MY OPINION)
    4) Foley’s comment sounds as if she is so concerned about the academic reputation at Page that she fears one negative comment. So much for Page being the “Gold Standard” for academics. If a negative comment (in this case one that was never made) endangers an entire academic program, Page has more problems than we thought. To make a comment about the private details regarding a child’s transfer for no reason other than a parent “may” have made a negative comment about academics is frightening. Remember, this comment was approved by GCS administration. Even if you don’t care about this issue at all, you should all be worry about how easy it was to get GCS to approve releasing private information. Those of you with children with ADD or ADHD should be concerned. If you say anything “bad” about a school, your childs information may be released to colleges and employers.
    5) Because issues that stemmed from football and a coach as involved does not mean this is all about football. trd – this is for you – you aren’t the only attorney that reads this blog – Fact – Stefan played football at Page – Fact – Bruce asked a legitimate question about Stefan – he asked the question of a coach. Fact – from that point on, everyone involved at Page acted inappropriately. Fact – Once Bruce asked the question and the staff and administration began acting inappropriately, the matter ceased to be about football. It makes no sense to say that because incidents involved a football coach and his actions as well as the actions of other staff members and administrators that the matter at hand is about football. To say that would be to say that if your child has a problem in art class and you ask the art teacher about the problem and in return the art teacher act inappropriately and to cover their actions removes your child from the art class, then if you as parent protest means you are protesting your child not being an artist. My example is extreme because it is extreme to say the Shepherd issue is all about football because the child played football.

    All of this is MY OPINION and are the facts as I know them to be

  • sburg2007 said,

    trd – I don’t know who you are and won’t go so far as to say you are posing as someone else, something of which you accuse me, but I will say these people do have a point. Your first 2 post yesterday do not sound like they were written by the same person who wrote the next two and the two you posted this morning are more like the first two yesterday. It does make me wonder if maybe more than one person is posting as trd but not because of what you are saying but because of the way you are writing. That would explain your first post starting as it did.

  • Doug Cockman said,

    There have been plenty of interesting comments here. There has been a lot of talk about evidence that shows wrongdoing by officials at Page. Being a graduate of Page, this is of great concern to me. When I was in school, Page tried to hold itself to a higher standard and it saddens me if this has changed. I doubt that Marion Kirby or Mr. C would have stood for this kind of behavior against students if what is being said here is true.

  • J.B. Shepherd said,

    To Doug Cockman: I agree with your comments. You are absolutely right. Mr. Clendenon would not have allowed these kinds of things to happen. In my opinion and that of many others, he held himself and others to a higher standard than Worrell. Furthermore, he wouldn’t allow the athletic department “tail” to wag the school “dog”.

    Coach (Marion) Kirby is a fine gentleman, well spoken , and an educator first and foremost. He was and is a role model for players, coaches and educators through the state and nation. I have spent many hours working with, coaching for and talking to Coach Kirby. Bill King and Bob Via are both men of this mold…those who took responsibility for coaching as a higher method for teaching young men about life, using sports as a metaphor for competing, developing, brotherhood, and tolerance.

    Things at Page aren’t as they were. I understand your frustration and concern. Gillespie doesn’t follow the higher calling script, nor does Rusty Lee.

    Worrell, Lee, nor Gillespie stand up to the standards set my Mr. C or Coach Kirby.

  • tjmp said,

    jls – I do know who you are and I agree with a lot of what you have said. But I also think if you are going to tell the story, you should tell it all. I think a lot of the reason there have been problems with all this, from the beginning is that, neither side tells the complete story.

    To everyone else:

    Since there has been so much trying to guess who is who on here, I will say that jls is not a member of the Shepherd family and does not know them. I on the other hand do know Mr. Shepherd. Bruce Shepherd coached five of my seven children in soccer (boys and girls). There were many years between some of them and they were not all “my” children at the time he coached “my” children. Calm down people, we’re talking blended family, not kidnapping. Coach Shepherd has my respect as a coach and teacher (he has had at least one of my children in a class, may not have been mine at the time, can’t remember). He helped one of my children at a time when no one else seemed to be able to or seemed to want to. He kept my child in-line when no one else could. He was tough but fair and my child always knew Coach Shepherd cared enough to give him a hard time when he screwed up.

    I should also say that I have children that still attend school with Stefan. I won’t say they are friends but they are friendly in a “kids knowing each other from attending the same school” sort of way. I was involved with certain aspects of what was happening at Page last year, not as intimately as jls, but still heard about it a lot and saw a lot.

    I think that part of the problem is no one is telling everything, it wouldn’t be possible. But I think because each side tells the parts that are important to them, when they leave out a part, the part they leave out, becomes the focus.

    Let’s start with the meeting. The part jls left out is that when the meeting was over, Mrs. Shepherd was yelling at Gillespie that he was an SOB. She said it several times and a lot of people heard it. Any of us may have done the same thing but by never talking about it, it seems like they area only telling what they want you to hear. It’s hard to picture someone being so meek and mild that they wouldn’t force their way into a room to get to their kid if they thought there was some sort of problem then a few minutes later be screaming at the top of their lungs that someone is an SOB. Truth is, the staff members in the meeting were WRONG, in every aspect of what they did, but instead of admitting that, they took Mrs. Shepherd’s outburst, made that the focus and made the connection that if his mom acted like that then it was safe to say Stefan did. Is that fair, no, but its how things are done.

    Did Stefan cuss as they said he did? Who knows, they just kept saying he did. Did anyone ever hear who it was that heard Stefan cuss? I didn’t until sometime at the first of December. The story was it was Jeremy Godwin that heard it. But as jls said, no one knew who that was. That doesn’t mean Godwin isn’t a coach, that doesn’t mean Godwin didn’t heard someone cuss. But it would seem to me if he was a coach that wasn’t well known, someone on this site would have said “oh yeah, Godwin was a coach”. Since everyone seems to like to type (MY OPINION) that is mine.

    My kids told me that the rumor was Stefan was not happy because Coach West (what ever happened to him) treated Matt (who was not at practice much) like a king and treated him like crap. My kids said lots of people thought the same thing. My kids said after a while Stefan was really frustrated and sort of gave the coaches a hard time by telling them that his dad knew more than they did and that he had been coached by people that were good coaches. Who knows what was really said but that was the rumor. If it’s true, big deal, be a coach and handle it. Instead, it appeared to all of us that since Rusty already hated Shepherd (Bruce) the coaches picked up on that and ran with what Stefan had said.

    Later, whether Gillespie will admit it or not, he told the team that Stefan wasn’t there because he was a spoiled quitter who thought he could do whatever he wanted to and then have his dad fix it. Let me admit to paraphrasing, I’m repeating what many kids have said.

    The Shepherd’s story was always presented (not necessarily by them) as if Stefan never did anything wrong. I don’t think they (the Shepherd’s) presented their issues that way, but that’s how the story was told. Gillespie is not a real nice guy; most of the kids are not happy that he is there and Via is gone. There are a lot of people who never understood Via leaving and being replaced by a guy from a small school with a mediocre record. And there are a lot of people that don’t understand why Rusty does anything he does.

    There are a lot of people who know that Rusty does not like Bruce Shepherd, he never missed an opportunity to make nasty remarks about Shepherd. Ask Bob Via, he heard it a lot. Ask anyone who knows Rusty Lee and Bruce Shepherd. I doubt you can find anyone who knows them both that will tell you Rusty never misses a chance to make a remark about Bruce. The big thing no one every understood was why Terry Worrell would get her information about this from Rusty knowing the way Rusty felt about Bruce. There were lots of rumors as to why Terry and Rusty did a lot of things.

    The saddest part about all of this is that there were so many things said and done because of either bad blood between one of Stefan’s parents (not his father and Lee) and decision makers and because of blind alliances between the decision makers. The end result is that this wasn’t about football and Stefan got hurt in many ways none of you will ever know.

    I don’t think this will ever be over. What I will say is, teachers, staff members and members of the administration should be mature enough not to let their dislike for a parent cloud their ability to make good decisions and side with those that are right even if it is the parent you don’t like that is right. Decision makers should take off the blinders and remove their people from a situation when necessary no matter how close they are to their people. Finally parents should think about their actions and who they interact with. We never know when a person we mom’s (or dad’s) have an issue with may hold a grudge or cast doubt on our character and have it come back to haunt our children.

    End the end, a child was harmed and no one in the GCS did a damned thing to help the child.

  • tjmp said,

    After I posted, I realized I had left off a few things. I was going to just leave them off but I’ve had a few calls & several emails from people who read the post and I decided I would go ahead and post the things that came up most often.

    For those of who that are having a problem following without a program, there is more to all of this than meets the eye. It all ties together. Since I was the one who said both sides should be told, I think it is important to give all the pieces. There are a lot of unanswered questions about many things at Page. There are things that may not appear to be related but at the end of the are. As before, I’m repeating what I heard first hand, what I heard as rumor, what I was told by people involved, what I learned from the things I was involved in and what my kids and other kids have said.

    To begin with, StevePage has a good point, why was the wrong coach hired? To answer that you may want to find out why Bob Via left (was fired, moved on, didn’t have his contract renewed). Take it a step further and see what parents made large donations to the athletic fund and/or Booster Club or provided a gift to the school. Then look to see if any of those who made the large donation or provided gifts had children who played more than one sport. Then see if there is a child that was given a starting position on a team for no apparent reason and although the kid wasn’t all that bad of a player, he was allowed to not only start but also allowed to not do all that well over and over again. Never underestimate the power of the parent with the ability to give the best presents… ask the GSC.

    Those who think Gillespie is the “best coach to ever be at Page” need to answer this question. If Gillespie had the best interest of all kids at heart, why would he give another kicker the jersey Stefan Shepherd had worn for three years after Stefan was no longer on the team. That was cruel. If Rusty Lee was doing his job and really cared about the kids and their best interests, he would have stopped it before it happened or if he was unaware of it until it happened would have had the kid change jersey’s as soon as he saw it. All the kids were talking about it. This was another thing that Gillespie did that did not endear himself to the team.

    Here is what people were asking and talking about when all this was happening. Why did Worrell not make Gillespie come to the meeting with Stefan’s parents. That was really strange,no one could figure it out. Rumor was the Shepherd’s questioned why Stefan was taken out of class while he was taken a test to attend a meeting that WAS about football. ( I would have too) The Shepherd’s also asked why the meeting was held without a parent once Stefan has asked for a parent to be in the meeting and why Stefan’s mom wasn’t allowed to come into the meeting. I think most of us, as parents, would have questions about this sort of thing, I would have. JLS is right, Worrell (with help or so it seemed) sent out a pretty nasty email about Stefan and his mom, knowing exactly what she was doing when she did (THE OPINION of Many). (Yes, trd we are all teasing you, but that doesn’t mean we are all the same person). Then when the Shepherd’s asked for a meeting. Gillespie and Barnes didn’t come. I would have been furious. If Terry Worrell or any principal had been that rude to me over something that was this important, I would have wanted an explaination as to why it wasn’t worth the time of a coach to meet with my husband and me but had the had no problem taking my kid out of class during a test. While my kids would have been thrilled to miss a test, regardless of the reason, it would have hit me wrong too.

    Last thing, I was not saying that Bruce Shepherd had a problem with someone else other than Rusty Lee. I mentioned that because the issue with the other parent was as big a topic as the problem with Bruce and Rusty.

    It was a subtle (but apparently unclear) attempt to give the Shepherd’s a heads up with regard to who may have been causing a problem and why. It is not always those people in front of you that cause problems. It is not always the person who you had a conflict with that causes a problem. One parent may have done something with or to someone. That someone may have a spouse, brother or sister in a powerful position. If an opinion of the parent is formed based on what they were told or observed about that parent by their spouse, brother or sister, it could, in the end, cause a problem for a child. One thing we have learned on this site is that people are petty, jls included herself in this lesson.

    As parents we need to remember everything we do can come back to haunt us, it is a small world and Greensboro/High Point/Burlington/Graham is much smaller than you might think. Who would have thought I would have married someone who had 3 kids coached, 10 + years before ,by the same coach that coached my kids years later, that I would have later worked for a short period with that coaches wife, that I would later have kids that went to school with their kid and I would not only know about a problem with their kid but be on a blog talking about it.

    Now that I have stirred up all sides and pointed everyone several directions I hope those that can help will help and that ALL the adults will get past their dislike, anger and character assassinations and realize and admit there was wrong done and a child hurt. No one was completely right and no one completely wrong. What needs to be learned is that any of us are vulnerable to what happened, it could be our child. Like the Shepherd’s or don’t, like the people at Page or GCS or don’t. That is not the point. The point is if people in authority are allowed to do whatever they want and are not help responsible, we all suffer, especially our children.

    Unlike jls, I’m done. If I left something out, it will have to stay out. Those of you who will give he a hard time over this have at it but you won’t get a reaction so don’t disappointed when you don’t.

  • ope99 said,

    This is all hard to follow, but anyone who has been around Rusty Lee , especially in the last four years, has heard him talk junk about Bruce Shepherd. tjmp is right, ask Bob, ask Lewis, ask Otis, ask Charlie Cockerham and ask Charlie Barnes. Ask any coach at Page. You should look into why Bob is gone. You should look into the “fight” that Rusty caused but Otis and Lewis took the heat for. Bruce was just looking out for his kid. He is a little protective and to tell you the truth I’m not sure Bruce like all of us, can see that his son is not always 100% straight with him and I think Stefan needs learn to take it a little better when things don’t go his way. I think everything Bruce said happened but I also think Stefan played both ends and snowed his dad in someways. I think Stefan took advantage of the tragedy and on occasion did something he shouldn’t and blamed those things on how he was treated. I said this because if I don’t someone will. I see it as a kid being a kid, others will make a federal case out of it. Bottom line – Gillespie, Lee and Worrell screwed up and treated Stefan and Bruce worse than bad. People with the jobs these people have are not supposed to act like they did. I know Rusty doesn’t like Bruce and I know there are people that talk junk about his wife but is that the kids fault. Everyone needs to grow up and act like the adults they are supposed to be and until someone looks into what is going on at Page nothing will change. The thing I want an answer to that nobody has said anything about is why did Worrell leave in the middle of the year to go to take a crappy job in Rockingham or was it Rockingham County. Her kid is still at Page isn’t she? No body ever said nothing about that/

  • me said,

    This is getting out of hand. I know where the last two people are going with this. They are going to get into who is or has been sleeping with who. These two people have set it up for all the rumors that are flying to hit here.

    If any of the mess that has been talked about here true, someone should look into it as long as it has to do with whether or not they were doing their job. If its personal leave it alone please. All of these people have children and someone is going to say something that is going to hurt a one of their kids.

    I decided to say this because while I was out earlier I ran into a bunch of people who were talking about this and the rumors were flying. They all thought the same thing and are waiting to see who is going to say what first. I am only indirectly involved but I don’t want anyone’s kid to read something, true or not true, about their parents. It doesn’t matter what you think of Shepherd, Lee, Worrell, Gillespie or Ms. Shepherd. They all have kids and to snipe at then can either hurt a kid or maybe hurt a kid again.

    Look into all that you want to but don’t start the personal attacks, please.

  • Pirate c 'of 2007 said,

    Why are we questioning Coach Gillespie’s coaching ability and where he came from? This type of questioning is about as stupid as when JLS questioned Coach Gillespie’s grammar and diction when the very same person has trouble spelling themself. How stupid is that? What was our record two and three years ago? Where did we finish this year and last year? We have made the playoffs two years straight and won a conference championship, so I think this should dispel any coaching abilities that Coach Gillespie has. If you have something on your mind that you would like to say about a certain situation and whether or not it was handled properly then go for it, but why have the nerve to attack a coach who has demonstrated a can do and can win attitude back into our program. Go Pirates!

  • Andy said,

    What do we need to do to help the Shepherd family in bringing closure to this football transfer situation involving Stefan Shepherd? Let us know if we can help. Is closure a possibility?

    If something good comes out of this, God Bless Us Everyone.

    On the football side of things, Coach Gillispie has turned the Page program around and Page did defeat Grimsley this year 24-23. We have to remember that this game was played on the field and the game is over until next year when they load it all up and do it again.

    The tenor of the community revolves around this game much like the N.C. State-North Carolina football rivalry. Page-Grimsley=’s N.C. State-North Carolina within the confines of Jamieson Stadium. These series effect everyone in and around the given areas.

    For now the games are over and we must reach some sort of resolution or we will continue to play out this game until we are either Page red(N.C. State red) or Grimlsey blue(North Carolina blue) in the face. There certainly is more to this than just Page vs. Grimsley but doesn’t it all go back to who beat who in the end? If Grimsley would have won the game 24-23 would we still be where we are here in this blogjam today?

    We are here to give each and every person a chance to voice their opinion on this subject but what is the bottom line in this on-going battle? We have to put the kids first and make sure their best interest is the number one consideration.

    Andy Durham:GREENSBOROSports.com

  • pagefollower said,

    I have heard alot of this stuff over and over. I don’t know what are whom to believe. But I do no that tjmp is wrong about stephens jersey being given to another player. Anyone can plainly see if they watch the video that the jersey was being worn by the ball girl. I am sure any Page coach wether you like him are not will let anyone see a copy of the film. It is as plain as it can be. Is all the shepard’s information they are repeating over and over on this site as far fetched as this one or is there some truth. I can not understand that if this situation was as bad as they say why did everyone that they took it to, laugh at them from Page Administration to Raliegh. No one sees any wrong in the situation. They have all of the involved parties statements plus the tapes of all the recorded meeting with the Shepard’s. With all this information if it happened the way the shepards say it did why won’t someone do something. I can’t imagine that people all the way up to the state education board could be paid off as the shepards states. I also ask if jls is not anyone personally involved with the shepards. Then how have they found out all of this information. If it was my child and this stuff was leaked out to the public I would be focusing my hate a effort on finding out how personal inforation about by child could be discussed on a web site like this. If all of this is true please tell me what I can do to keep this kind of stuff from happening to my child. She will not be playing Page Football but what other sport can fall victim of this treatment.

  • replying for the shepherd said,

    I am going to post a reply that will wrap all this up. I told the Shepherd’s I would do it, so if you want to be angry for what I write, please be angry with me, not them. I have stake in this other than to stop more negative comments on either side. Firstly, none of the Shepherd’s posted other than Bruce and he used his name. The Shephed’s have no idea who any of these other people are with the exception of sburg2007 and he posted on his own accord. Bruce would like to know who tjmp is for no other reason than she/he said he coached 5 of his/her children.

    There has been negative posts on both sides. The Shepherd’s have no control who posts in their favor. There were also those such as StevePage, ctc and TB who had problems with Page not related to Bruce or Stefan. Those of you that feel Bruce was wrong to defend his son, you have the right to do so. But do not hold him or Stefan responsible for anyone that chose to post their thoughts and opinions using Stefan, Bruce or the situation as their reason for posting THEIR thoughts.

    None of us know who anyone is that posts here other than those who have chosen to give their names, these include Andy, Bruce and Doug, everyone else used another name and there is nothing wrong with that, just don’t decide any of you know Bruce posted under other names because you don’t know that.

    This is the last thing that will be posted from the Shepherd’s be it the direct family or in my case someone who SPOKE WITH THE SHEPHERD’S and OFFERED TO END THIS as far as their posiing goes. Anyone else who’s pro or con will do so with the Shepherd’s knowledge or encouragement. There will probably be negative comments about post with people choosing to make all sorts of assertions and assumptions. Before you do so or before you go back to bashing everyone you THINK is Bruce or Karen, remember you have no knowledge of it is. Again I point out that Bruce used his name to make his comments positive and negative. I think the saddest part is that people took this as an opportunity to make harsh statement about a kid, no matter who the kid is and that is MY OPINION.

    The next comment is mine and does not reflect the opinion of anyone’s but my own. Those who supported the Shepherd’s regardless of how or why were not the only ones to make negative comments and accusations. All sides have misspelled words, left out words or in some cases several words, I probably have here, does it really matter. I do not know why jls posted as they did but the one thing that stuck was that she was right about one thing, for trd to comment on when posts were made was just silly. My point is when someone, and there will be someone who does, makes nasty remarks about me and my post, think about how silly that really is, I have said nothing bad about anyone. I’m only posting that the Shepherd’s will not be posting here anymore.

    To everyone that posted on both sides, one thing we now know is there is support on both sides and Andy, no I doubt their will ever be resolution but with regard to the Shepherd’s there is an end to this on this site.

  • Andy said,

    I remember seeing that little ball girl and I don’t who she was but I can tell you and I am being serious, that little kid was fast and she did a good job. Let’s hear it for the ball girl, that kid has a future on somebody’s sideline.

  • replying for the shepherd said,

    Before it is pointed out, what I meant to write above was: Anyone else who posts, pro or con, will do so WITHOUT the Shepherd’s knowledge or encouragement.

    One other thing, and I say this only because I wasn’t clear and this part is from me, not the Shepherd’s. While the ballgirl may have worn the jersey, there was one night that a kicker or punter (not Matt for those who will say I’m wrong) that worn the jersey Stefan worn. Several parents took pictures, some in empathy others in ridicule.

  • pagefollower said,

    The jersey was worn during the playoffs only! Watch the films!! I know for a fact!! While sitting in the stands listening to the crap that year that was the one thing that I did get upset about. So instead of listening to the rumors I checked myself. It was the ball girl. The jersy he wore was not worn by another player until playoffs. And if that upsets any ex-player’s parent they deserve to have their feelings hurt!!! If a coach does not fill all the jersey’s for the playoffs that is one reason why he should not be a head coach not his spelling ability or lack of. And Shepard quit at least 6 games before the playoffs. Bruce started whining about this the week after shepard quit or got let go!!

  • Robert Bell said,

    Andy: You say you want to help the Shepherds. I applaud your interest. Here’s how you can start: When someone sends out an inflammatory remark that is not founded in fact or can’t be attributed to someone, take it down. It’s that simple.

    I posted last week and then choose to enjoy Thanksgiving by not reading your site. Why? Because I knew the conversation would spiral to the level it has reached here. (Quick aside: After 88 messages have we really sunk to talking about ball girls and jerseys? If so, I can come back around Christmas to catch up).

    How did I know this thread was going to turn south? I’ve seen it happen here before. So have you, Andy.

    This thread of rumors and accusations points out the serious problem with your blog (and the N&R’s for that matter). Where are the editors? Anyone can say anything and — voila! – it drifts out into the great endless ether as fact.

    Someone says Bruce Shepherd is a habitual liar and it has, for some people, the ring of truth, whether backed by verifiable facts or not.
    Someone says Page officials conspired to shame one of their own students and his family and it must be true if someone took the time to write it.

    Most people wouldn’t tolerate such irresponsibility from their traditional journalism sources. Why should blogging be any different?
    Relax, this is in no way censorship. You can drive a tractor-trailer through the definition of censorship. Nor is it an attempt to silence those who want to be heard. What it is, however, is common decency. You can still offer your opinion without slashing someone in the process.

    You may not like Bruce Shepherd or Rusty Lee or a certain reporter, but like you, we’re human beings. We shouldn’t have to read people publicly accusing us of things they have no proof of.

    Quick hypothetical, Andy: If someone called you a child molestor posing as a radio announcer you would understandably remove posting without delay. Why don’t those same rules apply to the Shepherds and Lees of our community?

    Does anyone out there really think these rumors and trash talking add anything to the discussion? If you need to resort to that method to make your point, I’m sorry, you don’t have one. You want to criticize a school’s decision? Go right ahead. Just be able to back it up with actual facts. You want to say a story is incorrect, fire away. Just have some meaningful bullets, not second-hand gossip, to support you. You want to call people lying sacks of ***, then go somewhere else.

    So to answer your question about the Shepherds (and everyone else who has been carpet bombed by rumors and half truths), responsibly screening people’s comments is a start. But why not take it a step further and require people to use their real names when posting?

    Transparency and reasoned debate are crucial parts of blogging, and I’m guessing that it’s a major disappointment to many who come to your site to suffer through others who are incapable of maintaining a civil conversation, especially about issues that people feel strongly (and differently) about. I bet it would even generate more traffic your way.

    I think Mr. Shepherd’s accusations about me and the story are wildly off base. But at least he had the decency to make them under his name. I only wish others had the same courage when flinging their own darts. Besides, I can take it. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds shouldn’t have to submit to anonymous postings about them or their family without proof substantiating their claims. At least that’s how I see it.

    Andy, if you take all this as negative criticism, you’re missing the point. You guys put out a lot of useful information and are well read within the community. But along with that comes a certain amount of responsibility. Class dismissed.

  • really? said,

    I don’t really care one way or the other, but was reading this because everyone is talking about it.

    pagefollower, you must be a coach to have seen the film. Unless things have changed a lot only the coaches see the film and unless things have changed a whole lot they don’t film between plays. Then again, I’m an old guy and things change, I just thought the was funny to say that if you weren’t a coach. If it didn’t happen, why get so upset over it? Why not just ignore those that must be ignorant of what really happened.

    Also I didn’t see anywhere on here where the Shepherd’s (or Shepard’s, not sure, keeps changing) said anything about anyone being paid off. The only mention of that was by someone saying they thought the Shepherd’s had paid off someone to get emails or something like that.

    I’ve read everything and they only thing that seems clear is those people in the Shepherd camp make those who aren’t angry and those in those not in the Shepherd camp make those in the Shepherd camp furious.

    I also wondered how you knew people all the way up to people in Raleigh were laughing at the information. It seems like you too know a lot of private information. I think it was jls that said she worked at Page last year. I think most of us know, no matter where we work there are always people who know everything that is going on and read everything that comes and goes. It sounds from what you wrote that you may be one of those people.

    This is dumb, I know, but since I don’t have an interest in this I have to point out to Pirate c ‘of 2007, if you are going to polk fun at someone like you were trying to do to jls, you may want to be a little more careful with what you type. “Themself” in not a word. I know in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter, I just thought it was funny that Pirate c ‘of 2007 chose this to pick on someone about.

    While I’m at it, I would like to point out to the world that “a lot” is two words.

    pagefollower, you seem to have the words are and or confused, “no” and “know” do not mean the same thing, “wether”? not even close on that one. Lastly, who is stephens and was his jersey given to someone else too?

    My point is after reading all of this blog, everyone is starting to get confused as to who (not whom) said what and are making mistakes in their posts. It seems to have been forgotten that this is a blog. As someone said, this is a place to come for facts. This is opinion, nothing more, nothing less. One thing I do find really strange is trd, who really appeared to be a class A Shepherd hater pointed out something very interesting, no one seems to be coming to the defense of anyone at Page. There was one post that pointed out Gillespie’s record (kudos to that person for making good points), but other than that, it seems that all the Page supporters just attack what is said but don’t ever bother to say that it’s not true.

    If you read this all and try to piece it together, it looks like the Page people only know how to attack and demand answers. With little exception they don’t seem to want to answer any questions asked of them. Don’t get me wrong there were attacks from the other side too.

    Hey what do I know, I went to Hunter Huss a long time ago and don’t like Page & Grimsley.

  • Rob said,

    Mr. Bell,
    I’m glad to see you have used this venue to defend yourself and give your best attempt at chastising Andy. When the N&R publishes a critical article about someone, what options do they have when seeking satisfaction? Do the targets of your writings have a right to be heard as well, or does a one sided dialogue suit the N&R’s agenda?

    For the record, this thread is nuts and I would blame Jim Woody since we’re all throwing out names.

  • Robert Bell said,

    Rob,

    If I sounded as if I was defending myself or chastising Andy, that was not my intent. Andy does an excellent job with this blog. That doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement. indeed, he asked for suggestions and I offered my thoughts. Perhaps I’m reading too much into your question, but you appear to unsatisfied with some form of the News & Record’s reporting. For the record anyone is welcome to write a letter to the editor if they disagree with a story or columnist. The editorial page is separate from the newsroom so I can make no promises as to whether the letter will run. I’m guessing, however, that most letters that fall within our guidelines make it to print. Thanks.

  • pagefollower said,

    No I don’t know anyone high up but I have heard alot, excuse me, a lot of gossip. All you have to do is take a blank tape to page and request a copy of the game film you would like. A coach will get you a copy. Its that easy. And I would have a problem if jls worked at the school and she/he still knew all this info about my child. That should have only been between the immediate parties involved why dont the shepards concentrate on that. Now we have a 3rd spelling for the name!! I would like to know why anyone and everyone that questions the “story that the Sheppard’s, ooh is that another spelling, is out to get them and is a Page supporter. It sounds like someone is a little defensive!
    What would you like someone to state about the parties involved at Page if Administration and Guilford County School Board said they did nothing wrong who else needs to defend them!!

  • really? said,

    Just asking pagefollower, it’s just no one said that. Sorry if I seemed defensive, that wasn’t the intent. I just thought it was strange that no one said anything mainly because there other people than the S’s (that should cover all the spellings) that said stuff about the Page

  • IM Doggett said,

    Wonder why nothing is being made of James Hinson Jr. leaving Page and going to Grimsley. Do you think Page or Grimsley will ever have an African-American kicker?

  • DW said,

    Hey IM, you better watch your back brother. From what I hear, you don’t want to make Hinson, Sr. mad or you might get a visit from one of his “friends”. Why do you think that Bell and the N&R didn’t bring it up? They are scared ****less of a dirty cop!

  • Pirate c' of 2007 said,

    Themself, him/herself, itself, well, I frankly don’t care really or really? or another Sheppard. Maybe these good ‘ole North Carolina college classes can teach me a thing or to.

    As far as Robert Bell, well, I disagree with your thoughts on how well this venue will work out for the Sheppards. You see, no one else is listening to them, and it will go no further and rightfully so. If the Sheppards really had enough proof then I’m sure not everyone in North Carolina is as corrupt as the Sheppards say they are. With hopes, this blog will allow them to speak freely and vent, so that they can get over it. I’m pretty sure that the Page administration and coaches aren’t going to reply, because they know how stupid this is, and in their minds why fuel it. Also, if I was still a player and wanted that number then by gosh I would just ask for it. Coaches give the players certain numbers because the players request it. If for some reason someone got Stefan’s number then who cares. He quit the team, so the number goes to anyone that wants it. So, how stupid was this argument. To me, someone is losing ground on their arguments and are just fishing. Well, your fishing has now lead you to an empty hook, because if you really needed proof of who was wearing the jersey, then the coaches would have it on tape. The blog title should now be called “The Jersey Conspiracy.”

    As far as Page athletics, especially football, we are going to be rising back to the top. We’ve had some decent players the last two years, and Page is only going to get better, especially with the upcoming classes. We would have liked to have had a better show in the playoffs, but the longer players are in Coach Gillespie’s system then the better off the program will be. All of Page’s past and present players know where the football program is going, and playing in the playoffs will be common. So, if any player or parent reading has any doubts about Coach Gillespie then don’t pay attention to the B.S. I know that he and his staff tries hard to get their players into college, whether it is to help players get another chance to play some more football, or to help their players get into a school to make something of themselves (and yes, this is a word). Go Pirates!

  • Calvin Peters said,

    I must admit i have been entertained and bothered by all the attention that S. Shepard has received based on the article. He is at best an average kicker on an above average team. He will probally make All-Conference by default. And it is evident his father never played a down of football in his life. Lets understand why he really left Page. It was because he wanted to do things his own way. He thought he knew more than a coach that has been coaching almost longer than he has been alive. I watched him on the practice field, I watched him throw temper fits like a 3 year old child, I watched him against NE Guilford (2006) go and stand with his father during half-time, away from the team, as though his dad was a coach. It is evident by his father wants to live in his sons shoes….but why. If he was really that good, and he is o.k., I’m sure Coach G and his staff would have tried to keep him around. But as you may have witnessed he had a very big choke sandwich during the Page game. As we expected….. To much attention for this player.

  • Jake said,

    This entire situation is sad. I too saw Stefan have fits of temper when things didn’t go his way. He was quick to tell the coaches his dad was a better coach than they were and they didn’t know what they were doing. Once the got angry he would pout for the rest of practice. I fault the coaches for not putting an in to it the first time it happened. It may have been because of the situation with Rusty that they chose to ignore Stefan’s actions. That hurt Stefan more than anything.

    I know Bruce well and had he been told that Stefan was showing his butt on the field, Bruce would have put a stop to it. Instead he believed everything he was told. Next bad for the coaches was when Bruce asked, they didn’t tell him what was really happening so when it came up after all hell broke loose and Bruce didn’t believe them then. NO parent would. If your kid shows out, you should be told when you ask, not months later after you have been told he didn’t. Bruce is a coach and has coached many kickers who have gone on to have great success. I think the problem is Stefan fogot that his dad WAS NOT the coach and that, like it or not, the other coaches did not have to conform to his dad thought was the proper way to do things. If Stefan had just kept his mouth shut, not gotten so angry when things didn’t go his way, and not said his dad knew more than anyone else, things may have gone better for him.

    Stefan told a lot of people that his dad was “going to have Gillespie’s job”. Stefan told that to the wrong people in a setting where too many people heard it. I’m sure this is hard for Bruce to hear but it is true. There are a lot of people who, like Bruce and like Stefan that heard and saw Stefan. I think most of us were hoping it would blow over and wouldn’t have to tell him that, in some regard, Stefan brought this on himself.

    Stefan is an above average player. He could improve and has. Matt was a below average player at the beginning of last year, no matter how you look at it, but he improved and has done very well this year. Stefan did very well this year too and just as Matt shouldn’t be judged on his misses, Stefan shouldn’t be judged solely on his miss in the Page game. That kind of talk on either side, is childish.

    There was also wrong doing on the part of the coaches, principal and assistance principal. There was wrong doing by Grier and by the school board. Just because your kid acts like a jerk here and there doesn’t mean people get to make it sound worse than it was and get to break rules so that they look like they did what they were supposed to do. The coaches dropped the ball by not acting to control the situation from the beginning, once the parents got involved, the coaches embellished to make themselves look like they had the best interest of the kid in their minds somewhere. Rusty should have stepped aside. Anyone who knows him knows he is not fond of Bruce and Bruce is not fond of Rusty, that in and of itself is enough to remove Rusty from the sitiuation because it causes doubt about everything that was done.

    Gillespie should have handled this all very differently, was he totally wrong? No, afterall it was his team. Did Cockerham and Worrell handle it right? They sat back to long before they got involved then they let Rusty stay involved. They should be ashamed of the way they handled it. By acting the way they did they let us all down and more than anything they let Stefan down. It does no good to ignore bad behavior from a child then later try to blame the child for an entire situation. It also isn’t fair to fault parents for taking up for their child when they were not given all the facts in the beginning.

    I feel bad for Bruce and for Stefan. I think Stefan should have been taken to task by the coaches when he first acted out. I think his dad should have been called in and told, like it or not, you aren’t the coach, even if you understand, you need to make sure your son understands and Stefan needs to follow our lead, if he can’t he may need to find another place to play. Bruce and Stefan both should have been told that it was not good for Stefan to talk to him during the games, it made Stefan look like he wasn’t part of the team. None of that happened until after the fact.

    Stefan was the child here and had all adults, ALL the adults acted as they should have we wouldn’t be here today. There will be people on both sides of this issue that argue with what I wrote. I can’t stop that or change their minds. that’s just way it is.

    One last thing I want to say is, I have read this entire blog twice and don’t see where Bruce accuses anyone of bribing or paying off anyone. There have been several references to that in the last few days. Whether or not you care about this story or what happened, what’s the point of commenting on that when it’s not written here anywhere. I see wrong on both sides but don’t see where he says that. There is enough here to pick apart without adding more confusion.