In support of coach Jacie White

Over the last few months, I have observed some things that are unsettling to myself and others. I’m writing this letter in support of Coach Jacie White.

Jacie currently teaches Business Education and has been the Head Coach for the Oskaloosa Varsity Girls Basketball Team. Jacie is very well-respected among staff, students and players. Most importantly, she is a fantastic teacher.

As a parent of two children who graduated from Oskaloosa, I’m embarrassed by how she’s been treated by a few parents of the basketball team. She’s had to endure a “shadow keyboard campaign” of made-up accusations only to be proven false (with no consequences). The most disappointing part of this is not once did any parent come talk to her face to face.

Here are a few things Jacie has had to deal with:

Jacie had a parent try and get into the locker room after a game to confront her. Jacie had to be escorted to her car multiple times by a school board member due to her not feeling safe. Also, last summer, Jacie was confronted by a parent while supporting her players at an Oskaloosa Varsity Girls Softball game.

As a father of a daughter, this situation bothers me for many reasons. We are supposed to lift girls and young women up and empower them. I’m sad for the example this has set.

To no surprise, Jacie will be leaving our district at year-end. What a shame for our students to be losing a top-notch teacher and person. I can’t say that I can blame her, what normal person would put up with what she’s had to go through? We wish her the best and know that she will continue to make a positive impact on students at Harlan.

The girls improved so much throughout the course of the year. They competed hard and took another step forward during the second half of the season. While the win/loss record wasn’t what they wanted, they competed until the very end which is encouraging. I look forward to seeing the girls’ improvement over the years to come. The state of the program is in better shape due to Jacie and her staff.

There are many positive things happening at Oskaloosa Schools. I’m very thankful for the teachers, the environment and the opportunities it provides for our kids. My hope is that the majority of parents continue to support the great things going on in our school district.

As a community, let’s continue to be positive and speak louder than the negative vocal minority.

Vaughn Blythe, Oskaloosa

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