Re "Laguna High Divided Over Alleged Drug Use by Coach" (Oct. 26):
Since I was interviewed and quoted in the above named article, I would appreciate the chance to more fully state what I said. It is true that I said we are seeking to be a community of grace in Laguna Beach. However, I also made it clear that it would be a mistake to reinstate Cedrick Hardman as football coach during this school year at Laguna Beach High School.
In my letter to the school board I wrote: "To bring him back during this school year will make a mockery of what we have all been trying to do with our children and youth of our school district." I also encouraged the board to give Hardman time to prove to himself and to the community that he has made a clean break with his drug addiction problems.
For all practical purposes it now appears that the board has reinstated Hardman as coach during this football season. I am deeply disappointed by this action. The school board has lost an opportunity to provide moral leadership for this community at a time when we desperately need it.
Our young people need to understand that there are consequences for those who break the law and that those who are the substance abusers cannot manipulate and use the system we have developed for their own selfish ends. This is warfare for the sake of a generation of young people who need to know that love is tough and that the adult citizens are willing to stand up and be counted. We must say "No" to drugs.
Hardman should voluntarily separate himself from the athletic program of Laguna Beach High School for this school year. This is the leadership that is needed from him. This would gain him the respect and credibility that he desires. If not, I call upon the school board to review its decision and to reverse it. There is more at stake here than one man's coaching career. What is at stake is our community's effort to provide both quality education and moral leadership to our young people.
I believe in grace. I believe in redemption. I believe that it is possible for any of us to change. However, I do not believe in cheap grace. Grace places demands upon us. It calls for sacrifice and discipline. It may in fact lead to suffering, but the end result is healing and reconciliation. This is what all of us in Laguna Beach need.
THE REV. JERRY TANKERSLEY
Laguna Presbyterian Church
Tankersley's remark about its being a mistake to bring Hardman back to coach this year was inadvertently lost in editing the story.