Some Pasco parents not allowed to watch kids during sports practice, policy may be created

PASCO COUNTY - Pasco County School officials recently realized there's was no set policy for allowing parents to watch their kids during practice. Some coaches welcome parents, while others want the parents to stay away.

The Wesley Chapel High School Wildcats are getting ready for another big game.

And they need all the support they can get.

That's why head Coach Tico Hernandez welcomes parents who want to come to practice.

"We want as many people involved with the program as possible," said Tico Hernandez, Wesley Chapel football coach.

One of his star players, Mark Labarbera says he loves having his folks come watch.

"It doesn't distract me, it keeps me mainly focused, because I know who I'm out there playing for,  they remind of

that when I look off to the stands," said Mark Labarbera, Wesley Chapel Safety.

But some coaches around Pasco County prefer parents aren't around for practice.

Centennial Middle School in Dade City is one. That led one grandparent to complain that family couldn't watch

their 13-year-old on the volleyball team.

"Personally it appalls me that I wouldn't be able to watch my child practice," Asst. Superintendent Ray Gadd said.  
 Gadd heard the complaint and started checking around. What he found was a mixed bag with no set rules.
 "We had about half our school that had a completely open policy, and then about half of our schools didn't allow parents to attend practice or they could attend football and soccer, but not volleyball and basketball," Gadd said.

Some coaches say a gym just doesn't allow the space needed for parents to watch, but for outside sports, on-lookers can be kept away from the field.

But some programs don't want to deal with over zealous parents coaching from the stands.

"The sins of ones shouldn't punish the others," Gadd said.

The district plans on listening to what coaches and principals have to say about why they want parents in or out, and then the superintendent will decide if a standard is needed.


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