Students Discuss Proposed Conduct Code with School Board

Five Class of 2014 Londonderry High School graduates, who were members of the Athletic Leadership Council, outlined the proposed Life of a Lancer student code of conduct program for the School Board.

Laura Troisi, Katie Wipf, Nick Yennaco, Joe McGrath and Eric Coburn attended the board’s Tuesday, June 17 meeting to make their presentation.

Life of a Lancer, according to Troisi, is based on the Life of an Athlete program and was developed by John Underwood, director of the Human Performance Project.

“The Life of an Athlete provides a fact-based model designed to promote the success of student athletes,” Troisi said. “Many of the components of the Life of an Athlete program are used at Londonderry High School, such as the pre-season player-parent-coach meetings, youth leadership initiatives, community involvement and community service.”

Wipf said that in the hopes of providing an educational experience through co-curricular activities, the Athletic Leadership Council, the administration and various members of the school community spent the better half of the current school year redefining the school’s Code of Conduct.

“We believe this program provides a blueprint for healthy lifestyles, which is essential to the success of co-curricular participants,” Wipf said. “Therefore we would like your support in adopting this program in lieu of the current co-curricular contract, and calling it the Life of a Lancer.”

Yennaco said Life of a Lancer could be defined in the following areas: “pre-season meetings such as meet the coaches, Codes of Conduct including the restorative justice model, training for coaches and advisors on positive lifestyle choices, youth leadership opportunities, but not limited to identifying and developing student leaders, the Athletic Leadership Council, team captains and club officers, and the five ‘Cs’ of an effective leader: Confidence, Character, Civility, Citizenship and Chemical health.”

“We believe that an important element of this program is maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout the school year. To that end there will be changes to the current Code of Conduct in line with the restorative justice model,” McGrath said.

Coburn said that after a half year of working on the program and with the board’s support, the new code would have a positive effect on school culture.

“In our eyes the components of this program define what it is to be a Lancer,” Coburn said.

Board member John Laferriere said the document was in its 11th draft and noted the students handled themselves in a professional and young adult-like manner.

Board Chairman Leitha Reilly said she saw the alcohol and drug abuse policy as a separate document and asked if it was part of the Life of a Lancer.

“What we currently have is called the Athletic Contract and within that contract there are drug and alcohol and tobacco rules and penalties as part of the contract,” Athletic Director Howard Sobolov said.

He said the current contract, if violated, removes the offender from a team, while the Life of a Lancer provides consequences but doesn’t remove the offender completely from the team.

“Hopefully if they’ve made a mistake, we can help them overcome it and be restored to the team,” Sobolov said.

School Superintendent Nathan Greenberg said the document applies to infractions that take place off school property and not related to school activities.

Reilly asked the students if they think the policy is fair. All said yes.

“You don’t feel you’ve set the bar too high?” Reilly asked

All five shook their heads “no.”

The board voted unanimously to accept the Life of a Lancer program and to accept the first reading of the drug and alcohol abuse policy.