YMCA, Jamerson Family Branch Reviews (1)
Review: My six year old son was a member of the NFL Flag Football 7U team through this branch of the YMCA. We signed him up through the YMCA with the expectation that he would benefit from the sport and gain confidence and essentially "break out of his shell" as my son is very shy and this was his first time playing a team sport. He made every practice and game and found himself having some challenges with the other children on the team as they were able to understand the plays and the game itself and my son was still working on practicing and getting better at playing the sport. Like I said, we signed him up for the experience and to help build his confidence.
On June 9th, 2016, a bullying incident occurred not only to my son on the field by another boy, but also to myself via the photographer employed by the YMCA. The photographer is [redacted] with [redacted] Photography located in [redacted] Firstly, I had noticed the boys shoving my son extremely hard during the practice itself. I first thought this was just because of the nature of the sport and didn't think much of it until it was team photo time. During the team photo and before my son even had his photo taken, another little boy proceeded to pour water on my son's head, which is a bullying act and completely inappropriate. There was nothing my son had done to provoke such an action and the boy's parent was not present. My son immediately became visibly upset, prompting me to walk over and ask the parent coach (the actual coach was also not present) as to why the boy had poured water on his head as that was completely unacceptable. The coach did not reprimand the boy in any way for his bullying act or for doing such a thing to another team mate.
Before the parent coach could respond, the photographer, [redacted], very rudely stepped in and said that I needed to let the boys handles themselves or there should be more parents involved on the field. I said thank you but that I hadn't asked for his opinion and this was an issue between the coach, my son and myself, and the photographer continued to talk to me in a very rude manner and said that I could submit my complaints to [redacted] through the YMCA but that he needed to complete taking the photos.
What concerns me about this issue is that a third party entity, being employed or contracted by the YMCA, should never address a parent or advise a parent on anything to do with their child, especially not an issue concerning bullying by another child. Additionally, the coach present did not remedy the situation, did not ask if my son was alright or even ask the other boy why he would have done such a thing. My son never got to have his photo taken either as I took my payment back from [redacted] and my son and I left the field that day. Noone cared to address the main issues present that day: that my son was bullied on the field with no repercussions and that no one addressed my son and his feelings and that the photographer, neither a coach or member of the YMCA, felt the need to address me in any manner.
I submitted a formal complaint via email and telephone to [redacted], Youth Director, at the YMCA on June 20th, 2016. She called me back that same day and confirmed that bullying is something that they are able to address and should be able to control while children are in enrolled in their activities and that she would talk to the boys on the team, as well as the parents, and also would submit a request to management to speak with [redacted] about the incident since it so highly upset me.
I did not hear back from [redacted] at all since this date even though she promised me during that call that she would reach out to me with an update after she had had those discussions. I also requested a full refund of the NFL flag football fee as my son was not able to get his team photo taken nor was he able to finish out the season. My son was highly upset with the incident and even though we had signed him up for the season to help build his confidence, his confidence suffered the reverse affect. I was not going to make him be in an uncomfortable or bullying situation on his team if the YMCA was not going to address the issue or take bullying seriously.
Since I had not heard from [redacted], I emailed her on June 16th, 2016 and requested a status on the refund and the discussions she meant to have with the beforementioned parties. She did respond same day and indicated she had not had time to have the discussion yet but planned to that evening and that the office lady had not yet signed off on the refund nor had the management had a discussion with the photographer to date as they had to first establish a time to meet.
This means that 2 weeks have passed without the very serious issue of bullying being addressed. Additionally, another 7 days have passed since this email to me confirming they still "planned" to take action, but had not as of yet. I take it that the YMCA's policy on bullying is lax and do not feel comfortable having my son enrolled in future activities with their institution. This is not the atmosphere that one hopes for their community's YMCA to foster. Not only has the parent of that child not been notified of their child's bullying, but it seems that the photographer's very inappropriate comments to me, in front of my son, are also excusable.Desired Settlement: Refund of Flag Football 7U season activity fee promptly
Contact by the business to advise of discussions taken place with team members and the photographer employed/contracted with via the YMCA to take photos of their teams.
We’ve been in contact with the consumer and her complaint has been resolved.[redacted]Branch DirectorJamerson Family YMCA
I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID [redacted], and find that the resolutions that were offered to me have been satisfactory. I now consider this complaint resolved and thank the YMCA for their attention to this matter.