I am writing this in response to the Missoulian editorial "MCPS, be clear on alcohol policy" (June 19). I was extremely disappointed in this editorial.

You stated that Missoula County Public Schools has had a zero-tolerance rule since 2002 that prohibits the consumption of any amount of alcohol by educators and staff at school-sponsored events. You also wrote that this policy is spelled out in the MCPS' handbook given to all employees. I am not privy to the instances when MCPS has not been consistent in enforcing this policy; to that, I must admonish the administrators at MCPS. Shame on you.

However, I am in full support of the dismissal of these two coaches. First, this policy is in the handbook. It is up to each school employee to read the handbook and if they have any questions about any policy, to ask their administrator. Second, it is common sense. Teachers play an integral part in forming their students' views as well as being a role model. It comes with the job. Third, I'm hoping that with this decision that MCPS has joined the rest of the school systems in the country in actively enforcing this rule in every proven incident, no matter what.

These two coaches have learned a hard lesson. They were caught; maybe the others weren't. They should accept the consequences of their actions. Isn't that what teachers and coaches tell their students whenever they make bad decisions or the parents of students who try to make excuses for their child's bad behavior?

I am a retired high school teacher. My son played sports and I am so thankful there was an ironclad policy.

If you are a teacher and do not understand what other responsibilities come with the job, then I hope you seek another career.

Cherie Russell, Missoula

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