Regarding the parents of a Yarmouth High School lacrosse player suing to overturn her three-week team suspension for apparently drinking beer: As a parent of one former and one current high school athlete, I am familiar with the honor code signed by student athletes.

It is a pledge on the part of the student athlete to not engage in behavior that will be deemed detrimental to their team and their school, as they are representing that school both on and off the field.

Playing inter-scholastic sports is a privilege, not a right: Fail to live up to certain academic or, in this case, moral standards, and you cannot play.

This student was apparently caught violating this pledge (and, unless she is an exceptionally old high school student, the law) by drinking alcohol.

I realize now that I have done a disservice to my children by not making clear to them, as these Yarmouth parents seem to be making clear to their daughter, that it’s all very well to make such a promise, but she shouldn’t be expected to keep it.

After all, it was only a promise to maintain “honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, respect” and, incredibly, “responsibility.” These parents clearly believe that these are outmoded concepts, and instead are teaching her what may be a far more valuable lesson: Say or sign whatever you need to in order to get what you want, but don’t bother to keep your word.

Then, if you get caught breaking your word, don’t step up and take responsibility: Sue to get what you want. And as the attorney, Michael J. Waxman, rightly points out, it is absurd to use such a pledge to “monitor and discipline 24-7” the student: After all, this is the responsibility of the parents, right?

Mark Mills

Windham 

I read the recent article about the questioning of the constitutionality of Yarmouth High School’s integrity code (“Yarmouth schools: Discipline suit flimsy,” April 11). I understand why the code is there, and I believe the enforcement actions made were correct according to the knowledge I have gained from the article.

However, the knowledge gained was not in the quantity I expected. There is one too many gray areas left in this article. I took into consideration the missing interview from the girl and her family that could cover up many of the important points, but there are still too many variable views to be taken of this subject.

What if it were marijuana and not beer? Would the same consequences have been imposed? Tobacco? Steroids? What if it were nudity, then what? I believe that the police can undertake their duties to enforce the rightly earned consequences, but the school shouldn’t have much say in what happens between the afternoon and morning bells.

Also, why is it that only the students who take part in after-school activities are being held accountable for this? It’s like saying the valedictorian can party as long as he/she isn’t in a sport or club. People shouldn’t have this many questions, there should be an opinion A and an opinion B, not “what if’s” and “buts.”

The facts should be clearer so the correct opinions can be reached.

Amber Perkins

Biddeford 

The recent developments at Yarmouth High School have caught my attention. In the article written by Jenn Menendez on April 9 (“Yarmouth HS honor code challenged by parents of suspended lacrosse player”), the interviewees state several correlated opinions that stamp the honor code at the school as unconstitutional.

As a student at Biddeford High School, I fully understand and advocate for student freedoms. In fact, recently, I delivered a speech to the Biddeford School Committee regarding the sheer importance of student freedoms. However, in Yarmouth the actions taken by the school express appropriate punishment.

First and foremost, the student signed the paper upholding her word to respect the honor code. Now, I can’t say that all of the components of this honor code seem plausible or even measurable, such as “positive self-esteem.” But whether it is alcohol, as admitted in this case, or the use of marijuana or steroids, the student violated the core of the honor code and further, the law.

I believe it to be highly important that administration and parents treat the use of alcohol at an underage level as intolerable. With cases in the professional sports world ranging from Tiger Woods’ infidelity to baseball steroid use to athletes in confrontations at clubs (hot spots for alcohol intake), the argument that this honor code is unconstitutional is outlandish.

Even more outlandish, the argument that underage drinking in the privacy of one’s own home is not an issue was not taken up by the school.

All of this falls into a very simple template: A student signs the honor code pledge, the student drinks alcohol and posts a picture on a social networking Web site, the student admits to the action, hence, breaks the honor code.

If the situation instead included the use of steroids or marijuana, I would guarantee no controversy. Yet, the alcohol becomes completely downplayed, which quite simply is wrong.

At the end of the day, the parents and community in Yarmouth must support the school and not defend the underage use of alcohol.

Ryan Fecteau

Biddeford 

The extent to which Yarmouth High School has claimed control over its students’ lives endangers not only their rights but the principles that they wish to cement.

The suspension of the student was clearly justified, as she did indeed break the code and admit that she had been drinking, but we must examine the code itself. These “core values” are certainly positive traits that any high school student should strive to embody and supporting their students’ adoption of them should be celebrated. However, to dare require adherence to a list of morals to take full advantage of the offerings at YHS is disturbing.

Should a school report a student’s actions upon the discovery of pictures revealing their participation in illegal activities? Certainly, but to restrict their opportunity based upon codes that reinforce ideas such as “caring” and “positive self-esteem” is delving into a form of social engineering we cannot allow to occur in our schools.

It’s true that schools exist under this idea of in loco parentis (“in place of the parents”) and we should present our students with these ideas, but to actively take such a role in the creating of our future is irresponsible.

We must support the positive actions of our students and praise the upkeep of our society’s moral fiber, but we cannot allow our school systems to project their values on our students through the restriction of their rights and opportunities.

Nathan Proctor

Biddeford