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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Violent Soccer Mom Attacks NY Area 67 year old Coach

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The phrase has entered the American lexicon: "Soccer mom." Those dedicated souls who transport mostly suburban children to game after game, and practice after practice.

But what happened last Sunday in Elmont, New York (Long Island) is an unfortunate reality of youth sports in North America: Parents who can not control themselves, and forget that the games should be about the children. Not their self-absorbed attitudes.
"An East Rockaway soccer mom angered over being dropped from the team e-mail list for game-day directions was arrested after slamming a metal folding chair across the face of her daughter's coach, police said yesterday. Alicia Vigil, 33, of 168 Main St., was charged Monday with second-degree reckless endangerment in the 2:45 p.m. attack Sunday in Elmont.

Vigil, who was released without bail pending a Nov. 1 court date, said yesterday that she didn't hit Nassau Queens coach Sam Schwarzman."
Apparently, there were two different accounts of the incident. Please remember that the coach, Mr. Schwarzman, was a 67 year old volunteer.
"He called me a -- and criticized me for being a single mother," she said. 'I was so afraid. I was so scared that he was going to do something to me.' Vigil said she just walked away with her daughter, who was on crutches. In contrast, police and Schwarzman said Vigil approached the coach and cursed him. 'She came running across the field,' Schwarzman said.

He said he took her off the e-mail list because she e-mailed 'nasty letters' about practices and other matters.

Schwarzman, of East Rockaway, admitted he made a negative remark about the woman being a single mother with two daughters, ages 12 and 10. But he said he tried to avoid the confrontation by walking to his car. Vigil followed, picked up a nearby folding chair and, in view of her daughter, 'slammed me in the face with it three times,' Schwarzman said. 'I never touched her.' "
Mr. Schwarzman had coached four years without one parental complaint. Parents need to check their egos in at the touchline. The coach was wrong to make a comment about single parenthood; however, based upon Ms. Vigil's previous behavior, he had a right to exclude her from team communications.

Her violent response was a reminder of a larger societal problem: anger management. Unfortunately, it has become acceptable to yell and scream, show road rage, and display limited manners in public. Is this the example that we want to teach our children? Is anger an entitlement of an increasingly self-absorbed "me first" society? It is somewhat ironic that in a culture with a constant mantra of "be happy," so few Americans really are. Maybe we shouldn't strive to be, and look around the world where those with less actually have more.

Adults need to remember the examples of our parents and grandparents. They conducted themselves appropriately in public. They dressed properly, behaved correctly, and didn't bring attention to themselves. They were role models.
Source: Newsday, 24 October 2007 by Michael Frazier.

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