After witnessing the wild Blue Jays-Rangers brawl that included Rougned Odor punching Jose Bautista square in the jaw, the first instinct of some parents or teachers may be to shield their young child or student’s eyes from the senseless violence.
Not April Stevens though. The fourth grade teacher at Toronto’s Humbercrest Public School decided to turn it into a learning experience by having her students work collectively to write a letter to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
Stevens’ asked her students to voice their opinions on the incident and the ensuing punishments. Naturally, there was a consensus belief that Odor wasn’t suspended long enough for his actions, but the students backed it up with some well thought out points.
Here’s a copy of their letter, courtesy of SportsNet.
It’s noted that Stevens has had her students write letters to public figures in the past, but had never received a response. That changed this time though, as Manfred wrote back to explain the league’s position and to thank the students for their input.
Needless to say, the students were not expecting a response, but were thrilled when their teacher opened up the return letter from Manfred himself.
Getting a response wasn’t even the main goal. It never is, though it would certainly be appreciated. It’s all about bringing the students together helping them expressing their opinions in a constructive manner, which was accomplished with our without a response.
“You’re always looking for opportunities to write meaningful things,” Stevens told Sportsnet Friday. “The idea [of the exercise] is it’s good to have opinions and it’s important to share your opinions. If you think something is not right, it’s good to let people know.
“I’ve got some kids really interested in sports and they felt strongly that Odor acted inappropriately.”
Most importantly, the students seem to understand that fighting shouldn’t be the answer and it shouldn’t be tolerated.
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