Maple Grove High School pushes to "change culture"

A letter went out to families of Maple Grove Senior High students today detailing the school's plan after an investigation into the behavior of some members of the hockey team. The letter talks about a plan that requires "changing culture."

"I can't give you details or confirm or deny rumors of an incident that took place off campus and involved some members of the hockey team," said hockey coach Gary Stegano. "I want to be clear this behavior was unacceptable. In my 32 years of coaching girls and boys sports this has by far been my worst experience."  

The school's leaders say they are moving past the unspecified incident. They have created an action plan for developing positive leadership skills and a code of honor for all athletes, but specifically for the hockey team. The plan has seven points and will include surveying students anonymously to see how well the program is working. The district does acknowledge this incident was devastating to not only the school's reputation but to the staff as well. 

"Kids make dumb decisions sometimes, but the bottom line is we have to use it as a way to teach them and prepare them for the future so they aren't making similar or same mistakes," said principal Sara Vernig.

The school district says the investigation into the incident is complete, and the next step is to start working toward more positive leadership in student athletes. But they won't say more about what happened, citing data privacy laws.

Shannon Slatton, reporting

January 24, 2013


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