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Riot at Madera High Football Scrimmage: Admin Says Public Has No Right to Know Print E-mail
News - Opinion
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Friday, 24 August 2012 00:00
MADERA - While the Dinuba game ended without incident, last weeks scrimmage at Madera High's Memorial Stadium with Tulare Union ended in a riot. One Madera coach was hit by a Tulare Union player and several former Madera players from last seasons team jumped into the bench clearing brawl that by all accounts was started by the Tulare Union players.

The entire fight was captured on video by both teams, but neither have turned over their tapes for review to California Interscholastic Federation. CIF central section commissioner Jim Crichlow said any player that left his bench to enter the fight is subject to a game suspension.

The Madera Police Department was also not shown the video despite former players, who are now adults, fighting with high school players during a high school event.

Even the local newspaper did not report on the fight and Principal Kent Albertson and AD Shane Riddle have worked very hard this week covering up the fight so the public wouldn't know what really happened.

A public records request was issued to the Madera Unified School District to turn over the tape to local media, which was at first approved by Superintendent Gustavo Balderas, then denied disclosure after the Madera High administration complained.

Through attorney Kevin Dale of the law offices of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, the district is claiming that the game tapes, recorded at every football game through out the country, are "pupil records" and are not subject to public disclosure.

However every year these videos are used by players for recruiting with colleges and universities, and are routinely shown to local reporters to help complete news stories. These videos are uploaded to You Tube by coaches every week and used for television news when a station couldn't be at the game. Heck these tapes are shared with other schools to help prepare them for upcoming games.

Dale claims that students would be able to be identified on the video. However my sources says the video is blurry and neither team wore game uniforms with game numbers. So with the helmets on, none of the players are easily identifiable.

So what is Madera High hiding and why hasn't ANY player been suspended from play or school? Is Albertson and Riddle telling football players at Madera High that they are exempt from school rules or the consequences of their actions? What about the adults on the sidelines that participated in this fight with high school students? What is the administration covering up? Who are they protecting?

Is this what we get when we find our administrators in the gym rather than the classroom?


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