Yesterday I attended a parents' meeting for one of Daisy's extracurricular sports.
The meeting was called because the guy in charge of the sport (and I'm being deliberately vague here) was fed up with poor parent behavior. The administrator called for a sport-wide meeting and gathered hundreds of us parents in a gym this weekend.
For 30 minutes the man lectured and berated us, enumerating all the different ways that parents had been misbehaving the last few years. He explained that many parents try to coach their kids during the games, others bring their own whistles from home to do some sideline officiating, some parents yell at each other, and every once in a while a fight breaks out.
The lecturer explained how he never had to expell a child from the sport, but he had had to get a few restraining orders for parents. He marched back and forth across the gym floor explaining how it was important for us to try and identify the berserk parents on our team. He suggested that we all should have a team meeting, so that early on we could figure out who the bipolar psychopaths were.
Truth be told, the guy had a pretty funny presentation style, but I walked out of the meeting a little stunned. I tried to think if any of the parents on our team might be violent freaks, but I couldn't identify any. Afterwards I went to an event for Daisy's school and I recovered from the meeting by telling some people all about the lecture, and what a personality the guy had.
"Oh, I know him," one parent confided to me, "There's a restraining order against him and he's not allowed within 50 feet of our school. Apparently he hit a kid."
I guess it takes one to know one.