It sounds like something out of a satirical Saturday Night Live skit, but worse. High school football coach Pat Lynch created a form called the “Hurt Feelings Report” that students can hand in when their feelings have been hurt. The problem? The report isn’t truly designed to help students deal with any incident that may have incurred. Instead, it uses sexist and homophobic language to humiliate students.
Demeaning and Offensive “Hurt Feelings Report”
The form, which was obtained by K2 Radio in Wyoming, asks Buffalo Bison players which ear the words of hurtfulness were spoken into, whether there was permanent feeling damage and whether they required a tissue for the tears. The form them goes on to ask the reasons for filing the report, with the choices being:
1. I am thin skinned
2. I am a pussy
3. I have woman like hormones
4. I am a queer
5. I am a little bitch
6. I am a cry baby
7. I want my mommy
8. My butt is easily hurt
9. All of the above
The report filer is then asked to give the name of the “real man” who hurt their feelings, the “name of the little sissy filing report”, his “girly-man signature” and, finally, the signature of the “real man” (person being accused). The report also includes a statement about the apparent company policy with regards to hurt feelings:
We, as a company, take hurt feelings very seriously. If you don’t have a mommy that can give you a hug and make it all better, please let your supervisor know and we can provide a surrogate. If you need them, diapers, Midol and a “blanky” can also be supplied.
Offensive Form Leads to Resignation
Pat Lynch was the head coach at Buffalo High School for the past 14 years. After hearing about the form, the school board investigated and then asked Lynch to resign. According to ABC News, Lynch apologized in his resignation letter, writing:
I would like to apologize for my lapse in judgment and the poor choice that I made from my position as the Head Football Coach for Buffalo High School. I know that this situation has caused you pain and discomfort, and for that I am truly sorry. As a person and a professional, I believe I will learn and grow from this experience and use it to help others. I appreciate having had the opportunity to coach in this community for the past 22 years. It has been a rewarding experience.
In addition to resigning from his position as a football coach, Lynch also resigned from his position as the weightlifting coach. But the story doesn’t end there.
Lynch Retains Position as Guidance Counselor
Although Lynch is no longer coaching football or weightlifting at Buffalo High School, he was allowed to keep his job as a guidance counselor. According to K2, he is expected to “continue acting as a guidance counselor to high school students seeking assistance in a variety of areas including graduation and their path to college.”
The decision to keep Lynch as a guidance counselor is especially troubling. How will he treat students who are unsure what direction they want to take? How would he provide appropriate guidance to a student who is anxious or scared about exams or college applications? How would he react to a male student who is interested in entering a female dominated field like early childhood education or nursing? Will he provide support and encouragement to ambitious female students or will he guide them toward what he perceives to be appropriate pursuits for women?
The insensitive and offensive homophobic and sexist language used in the document that Lynch handed out demonstrates that he is in no position to be providing advice and guidance to students on their future paths. Sign the petition asking the principal to terminate Pat Lynch from his position as guidance counselor.
Image credit: Elvert Barnes on flickr