Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Michael Locksley, role model. Or, Michael Locksley, role model?

Clearly, UNM's $750K per year, Head Football Coach Michael Locksley is a role model.

Role model;

a person whose behavior, example, or success is or
can be emulated by others, esp. by younger people.
When he clocked his assistant coach, he was a role model of "unacceptable" behavior.

When he "apologized" while hemming and hawing about the meaning of the word "punched", he was a role model of "unacceptable" behavior.

Yesterday, when he accepted responsibility and apologized without reservation, he was a role model of admirable behavior. One who does something wrong (within reason) and accepts responsibility, is role modeling good behavior. We don't remember George Washington for chopping down a cherry tree (bad) but rather, for stepping up to the consequences (good).

There are those who would now hold Locksley accountable as a role model. Reasonable, except that when you start digging, I expect you will find inadequate definitions of role modeling, and inadequate policies and procedures for enforcing whatever policies and procedures there are. I expect, further, that you will find that "powerful" people cannot actually be held accountable for even the most egregiously bad role modeling.

As an educator, I place a huge emphasis on the impact of role modeling. And I wish that sometime, somewhere, we will sit down and talk about the responsibilities of role models, and accountability as role models, openly and honestly.

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