Northside High School baseball-throwing incident a disgrace

Published 8:48 pm Friday, May 15, 2009

By Staff
What else can sensible people think about high-school baseball players foolish enough to throw baseballs out of an activity bus? That’s evidently what occurred May 4 as the Northside baseball team traveled home late at night from Roanoke High School.
According to Beaufort County Schools, several Northside players threw baseballs out of their activity-bus windows, one such throw allegedly causing injury and damage to a vehicle on U.S. Highway 264 near Everett’s Crossroads.
The episode not only unfairly taints the whole school, but especially the baseball players not involved in the incident. And that’s a real shame.
The incident prompted Beaufort County Schools’ interim Superintendent William Rivenbark to cancel the team’s last game of the season, and supposedly appropriate disciplinary action has been taken for those involved.
Additionally, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is looking into the incident to determine if criminal charges are warranted and who are the guilty parties.
Rightly so.
Those tempted to excuse the incident as “youthful transgressions” or classify it under the heading “boys will be boys” are sorely misguided, in our opinion. We’re not talking about youngsters cheating on a test or sneaking a beer from Dad’s refrigerator, or even toilet-papering a tree on Halloween.
Those are youthful transgressions — regrettable, yes — but certainly within the realm of understandable behavior.
The baseball-throwing incident raises another question: Where was the coach or coaches during the 11:40 p.m. pitching contest? Alert, responsible adults should have been able to thwart the incident.
Other questions also remain to be answered:
• When did Rivenbark decide to suspend the season, and when did the team’s head coach Keith Boyd find out?
• Was Boyd involved in any way in the incident? Will he be disciplined? If so, how and when?
• How long were the players throwing the baseballs, and how could it have happened if a coach(es) were on the bus?
• Will the incident affect next year’s baseball season?
• What is the school or school district doing to prevent future similar incidents?
So far, the school district has ducked — or at best offered nebulous answers — to all of these questions, preferring instead to send out a press release nine days after school officials admit the incident occurred.
It’s time to get the rest of the information out, deal with the consequences and ensure it never happens again.