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To: Coach Everyman

From: Principal Stiffton, Everytown Public High School, USA

Re: Locker Room Talk

I wanted to follow up on our conversation earlier this afternoon and share with you a few of the parental concerns brought to my attention earlier this week. I have already spoken to the parties in question. I have tried to assure them that the conversations occurring in our locker room are much as they would be for any other intermural sports teams in the country. Unfortunately, several parties are simply not satisfied. They seem quite certain that our games have become the site for talk they regard they regard as dangerous and possibly harmful to the moral development of their young children. No. They don’t actually want you to do anything about it. They just want to make sure these conversations are limited to the context of the locker room.

The sexual content, you already know about, but again, I must tell you that none of the parties in question have called for any investigations. We don’t need to know if any of the activities your football players bragged about during the post-homecoming celebrations actually did take place. The parents are actually quite relieved to find that such specific sexual activities were not discussed in the context of Sex Ed classes. Please discontinue any ongoing inquiries regarding specific allegations made about or by your players. What happens in the locker room, according to these parents, should stay in the locker room.

A couple of new concerns have been raised. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are apparently quite convinced that you have been holding seminars on global warming during the pregame briefings. I really tried to assure them that you are only a part-time science teacher and that you would of course reserve such discussions for the classroom. On the contrary, the Smiths insisted that such conversations were fine so long as they occurred only during the weigh-ins for the wrestling team. In fact, they only brought it up to assure me that this was the perfect place for such matters. The other concerned parents all assured me that they were in agreement with the Smiths.

Actually, “agreeance” was the term the parents used, and one of the words in “Climate Change” was consistently replaced with some form of scatological reference. Nevertheless, all the parents in question found the topic quite appropriate for the locker room. They just don’t want you to bring the subject up in any of your actual courses.

Many of the concerned parents had much the same views regarding the subject of evolution. You may answer any of the questions Billy Johnson asks about that subject you like, they assure me, providing you limit your answers to the half-time pep talks occurring during the basketball games. If other students must hear the answers to these questions, our parents parents insist it must not be in any actual classroom. Also, they would prefer that you leave textbooks out of it. If any literature must be consulted, it should be op-ed pieces authored by economist and sundry pundits. You may present all sides of the issue, of course, but our parents would very much prefer that you keep the science out of it, and that you limit these talks to the locker room. We don’t want anymore incidents like the graph you presented in home-room last week.

You needn’t worry yourself about the subjects of genocide, slavery, or imperialism. It is quite all right if the baseball team discuss these things during practice, or more specifically, before and after practice. The group of concerned parents just wanted me to make sure these conversations were not coming up in the history classes. I will speak with Mrs. Jones about this; she has been warned twice already, and I am really getting quite frustrated with her over the whole thing, but that is no concern of yours. To the best of my knowledge, our parents have no concerns regarding your own role in the whole ‘structural racism’ incident. I told them that you would never encourage students to use such words off the field or outside the locker room, and they have accepted my word on the matter.

Asked if they had any concerns about Russian meddling in American elections, the gutting of environmental regulations, understaffing at the state department or the establishment of internment camps on U.S. soil, none of the parents in question seemed to know what I was talking about. I don’t believe any of them have been in a locker room within the last few months, and they do not seem to have encountered the subjects in any of their chosen news sources. Suffice to say that our parents have no concerns about any of these subjects. Your players are free to bring up any of these matters during the course of game preparations. You might ask them not to raise any of these topics in any of their classes, however, and perhaps to avoid discussing them with any of the adults in their families. I think morning calisthenics will offer you the perfect opportunity to warn your players about such matters, but the time and place for that discussion is entirely up to you.

This is really the extent of the matter as far as I understand it. Again, please cease any active investigations into the rumors you have been hearing and do make a point to help the students understand what should and shouldn’t be shared with their parents. Some of the things we talk about in school just isn’t fit for fragile ears. In any event, please remember that what is said in the locker room must stay in the locker room.

That is all.