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Hilbert revising athletic code in wake of Gehl case

By Ed Byrne

The Brillion News

HILBERT – The Hilbert School Board is considering a major revision to the district’s athletic code – the Co-Curricular Handbook – in the wake of negative fallout over the “Tweet heard round the world.”

High school senior basketball player April Gehl was suspended for a quarter of the season, under the existing athletic code, after she posted a graphic criticism of the WIAA issued memo to schools calling on an end to sports cheers it didn’t consider nice. She posted her opinion on Twitter, during the school day.

The district administration is now proposing changes to the athletic code. The biggest change creates a new class of less serious offenses – which the school is calling “misdemeanors” – to exact a lesser punishment for those transgressions.

During the fallout from the Gehl controversy, Superintendent Tony Sweere and Athletic Director Stan Diedrich estimated they each fielded about five calls per day from within the district, in addition to calls from the news media in the state and around the nation.

Most of the criticism was directed at the WIAA for its criticism of common cheers – such as “Scoreboard” and “Fundamentals” – as promoting bad sportsmanship.

Diedrich said that once the school explained its disciplinary action, the criticism of the school faded.

“The penalty imposed was from a code that was signed,” Diedrich said. He said neither April nor her parents appealed the discipline the school imposed.

Please see the complete story in the May 19, 2016 edition of The Brillion News. 



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