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NSU Class Learning Lessons From Miami

December 18, 2013, 6:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

NSU Class Learning Lessons From Miami
ABERDEEN, SD -

Locker room bullying became a topic of discussion after the Miami Dolphins suspended a player for alleged bullying.

Northern State University students are using the case as a lesson to keep them and others out of trouble in the future. Learning details of alleged bullying on a professional football team was only a small part of a law and ethics class mock trial.

"The students are going to be future teachers, future educators, future coaches, future sport professionals," professor Thomas Orr said. "They really need to know some of these key issues and ethical problems that are really the reason a lot of the people are being fired or losing their jobs."

The students research the issues well enough to present both sides in court. In this year's mock trial, Orr says students wrestled with multiple questions. What constitutes bullying and abuse? What is and isn't OK in a locker room they could be in charge of one day?

Orr wants students to learn those lessons now before they learn them hard way later.

"I think that's definitely an advantage of taking this class and kind of learning what you can and cannot do in the workplace," Erin Crane said.

"You'd be surprised at what's considered negligent and how minor of a thing that you leave undone or unnoticed," Charley Smook said.

Orr is also hopeful those lessons could protect your kids one day.

"We want to give them as many tools as we can so they can leave here with that and be great administrators for the state of South Dakota and the region around here," Orr said. “Which is the nice thing about this; we are training the teachers and coaches for this region.”

Jory Kunzman wants to stay in state as he pursues a career in sports administration, whether at the college or high school level.

"You just have to keep focused on doing the right thing and hopefully others will follow you," Kunzman said.

In the past, the class has studied other sports-related abuse cases including former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky. Orr says similar lessons in leadership surface each time.

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