My Turn, Your Turn: How far is too far when enforcing rules?

By Gary McNair - bio|email

I was going to do a commentary on the 6-year-old from Delaware suspended for bringing a Cub Scout tool with a fork, spoon and knife to school.  It was just the latest example of a school enforcing the "letter of the law" instead of the "spirit of the law."  I was going to ask: whatever happened to common sense?

Well, I am still going to ask that same question, but I have another example.  Something just as absurd happened this week in tiny Fitzgerald, Georgia.

During a high school football game Friday night, a wide receiver caught a touchdown pass - and politely pointed his finger toward the sky to give praise to the God he believes in.  The result of that gesture - the team received a 15-yard penalty.  Why?  Because he violated the excessive celebration rule by acting in a way to draw attention to himself.

Both of these stories show us that things have gotten way out of hand. How do we expect our children to learn good reasoning skills - when the folks they have to look to for leadership and guidance do crazy things like this.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed responses from viewers:

I totally agree with your comments about the football player who made a subtle, yet respectful, gesture of celebration after receiving a touchdown pass.  The absurdity of penalizing the team for that floors me!  That, along with the cub scout story...and many others...does, in fact, make you wonder how our youth are supposed to grasp the real meaning of right and wrong.  As adults listening to these stories, we can shake our heads and voice our opinions on the stupidity of some of these ridiculous events, but what conclusion is a child or young person going to draw?  Should it be "Be afraid...Be very afraid" {to exhibit emotion, creativity, innocense, etc.} ??  You said it best - Where do we draw the line on the "letter of the law" vs. "the spirit of the law".


After watching your piece on H.S. Football celebrations in the end zone, I feel that you have missed the point entirely. These players are only imitating what they see the college and"professional" athletes doing. This is not about praising their creator.. This is about "showboating" in the end zone and it should not be allowed on any level. I believe the expression is "Act like you have been there before." After finger pointing skyward, what comes next? Chest bumping, end zone dancing and finally opponent taunting?  If you don't think thats the case then just turn on any game any Sunday afternoon and watch.

Competitive sports have become a joke. Whatever happened to the expression "Be a good sport?" Besides, If this is an expression of worship why is it allowed on a school football field when we don't allow the same in the school classroom?


Hi WECT. I Watched my turn yesterday afternoon. I agree with you that many of the punishments issued by school admisistrations and athletic officals often do not fit the crime. The section of your commentary about the football player priasing god was another example of how people are trying to take the peoples right of freedom of religion away. The united states was founded on the 10 Commandments and the Bible. Many of the people who do not believe in god are trying to take the rights away from people who do. If a person does not believe in god that is their right, however they should not try to stop people who do believe in god from freely worshiping and teaching their christian values to their children. That is my take.

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