"Athletes are sensitive human
beings with lives beyond sport;
they are not simply a commodity."

The Coaches' Report

Parents' Survey Responses

Have you ever considered filing a formal complaint or grievance with your skater's local club or federation (USFSA, CFSA, etc) over a coach's or a fellow member's conduct? If you ended up not filing a complaint, what was the reason why?

"During the grievance process you must state the actions you tried to take before filing the grievance, and how you tried to solve it first. Everyone in the [federation] said the only way was to fill out and follow the grievance guidelines and it is time consuming. That way they figure you won't do anything. Because they (the [federation] grievance officers) do not aid in any way."

"We left the club and another skater filed complaint which ended in a widely published court case."

"Not wanting to be dragged through the mud."

"Because in the long run, I know that the [organization] would do nothing."

"My daughter would not tell me enough of the specifics and I could not document days and dates without her cooperation. She gave me enough bits and pieces so I knew something was very wrong. The coach did not want parents hanging around the rink, so anything the kids said was always their words against an adult (the coach). If the kids did report home about anything, and the coach was then questioned, she lied to cover up, and then punished the kids for talking to the parents. She is still coaching and just three or four of us parents cannot stop her."

"Because the person I wanted to file a complaint against is the local [organization] representative, so I felt it was pointless. I also know this person has had complaints filed against them before to no avail. Also, this was a complaint about unprofessional conduct, not abuse, and simply changing the situation resolved it for us."

"We left the rink and didn't file a complaint."

"I never thought it would be worth the time simply because my children would be harassed while they were skating."

"Fear of retribution."

"[Did not have] time and effort."

"I did not want to hurt the person professionally. I just suspended lessons."

"The reason is simple like water; if you complain about anything, being harassment, misconduct or whatever, they will connect you to your child, and your child will be punished."

"I filed a grievance and got told by the[federation] that they didn't wish to get involved, because they thought is they supported me it would give me a stronger case to take legal action against the club executive."

"Because the skating director and the coach in question were friendly and I didn't think the director would do anything about the claim."

"Yes, I have considered filing a complaint but realized that it probably would be futile."

"Our rink stated that the problem was a personnel matter and parents should not become involved."

"Member was expelled by club executive."

"The control is solely with one coach who represents the management of the rink. If you don't skate with her, you have no voice, even if you are a board member. The board has been told not to make waves or they'll 'be thrown out on your ear.'"

"A fellow club member and father of skater was harassing other skaters. Was told if we filed grievance our skaters would pay. Test chair supported [this member] and also has a son who is high level judge. Management of rink finally kicked parent and skater out of facility for 90 days and said if not removed from club board, club would be asked to leave the rink."

"Fear of more harassment of my child by the coach and fear of being 'blacklisted' by the [federation]."

"I have even consulted a lawyer over a matter (not abuse, but something that I considered unjust harassment) and was informed that the skater and parents have NO rights. However the rink management wishes to conduct itself---fairly or not---is the business of the rink management and owner. The only thing a skater or parent is free to do is to leave--even though monies have changed hands and services have been hired and promised, etc. The person who owns the real estate has 'carte blanche' on behavior and business practices."