Apr 21, 2017
Clear Guidelines

On Nov. 17, Travis Greenlaw, a former athletic trainer for Spectrum Healthcare in Grand Rapids, Mich., was sentenced to prison for taking photos and videos of female clients in his care, as well as for inappropriate touching. Some of those images were of student-athletes at Kent City (Mich.) High School.

Greenlaw’s July arrest served as a huge wake-up call for Kent City — and all schools. In response, administrators at Kent City and Spectrum Health developed a list of students’ rights and expectations that pertain to receiving care from athletic trainers. The guidelines have been well-received and can serve as a template for other schools to prevent similar abuse from happening again.

“Most kids trust authority figures, especially in a school setting, and they’re generally not going to question something an athletic trainer tells them to do,” says Kent City Superintendent Mike Weiler. “For example, one of our students with scoliosis said Greenlaw told her to take off her shirt and bra. Now, that’s not necessary to do a treatment for scoliosis, but how would she know that? He’s supposedly there to help her, so she’s going to do what he says.”

Most kids trust authority figures

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