Oct 26

After 20 Years, Still Haunted by a Drug Conviction

The Marshall Project

By Jason Bost

I love my daughter. That goes without saying for most parents, but I am truly crazy about mine. She literally came out of the womb with a smile on her face — no crying, just a big smile, shocking the doctor and all the nurses in the room.

As I stood on the sidelines of her 6th-grade soccer game two years ago, I suddenly decided I should coach her next team. I mean, why not? I’d always watched her soccer games, trying to keep myself from yelling out instructions. “Move closer to the goal,” I would scream. “Don’t let her get in front of you!” She usually just shushed me and tried to get as far away as possible, but then we’d laugh about it after the final whistle sounded.

As a community college instructor, my schedule was flexible enough to take on a coaching gig. So when I signed my daughter up for a summer basketball league and casually mentioned I was available to volunteer, I was thrilled they asked me to coach. She was almost as excited as I was. “No way! No way…” she said over and over again. “For me and my whole team??” she asked, bouncing on the balls of her feet.

Over the next few weeks, in preparation for the season, we worked on passing and shooting drills and joked about whether she would call me dad or coach at her games.

But about a week before the season started, I received an email asking me to complete a volunteer coaching form. Immediately, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach, one I had come to know very well over the years. It was the same sickening dread that visited me every time I applied for a job.

Sure enough, there was the question on the coaching form. “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”

Continue reading.

Source: JusticeCenter

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