If this keeps up, we’ll be watching basketball games up until graduation day.
The recent cold weather and snow in the area has been tough on the high school and recreation league schedules around the area. When the white stuff starts coming down, the red flags start going up.
As much as I hate to see the games being postponed, however, I am glad to see that our school administrators are taking the safety of our kids into consideration. Something else I’ve noticed is that it seems like we’re getting that information a bit quicker about delays and closings. After years of waiting until the last second to make those decisions, it seems like our current administrators realize how tough it is on parents when that happened.
The Cougars and Lady Cougars will get back to work eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later. if anybody has any pull with Mother Nature, see if you can help us all out.
A couple of sports news items caught my eye the past few weeks, and since we haven’t had any games this week this is a good time to bring one of them up.
I am strongly opposed to House Bill 63, otherwise known as the “Tebow Bill”. For those that didn’t see the article in our news section yesterday, this bill is often called the Tebow Bill because of the fact that quarterback Tim Tebow was a home schooled athlete who was allowed to play high school sports in Florida, even though he wasn’t enrolled in the school that he played for.
I have several problems with this bill.
First, if someone makes the decision to remove their child from public school and teach them at home, I completely respect and admire that decision. It takes a great deal of effort, involvement, and dedication to your child to home school them. It is the right of the parent to make that decision, and no one should try to stop them from making that decision.
What I can’t understand, however, is why that parent would want to remove their child from the system for education but then somehow feel that they should be allowed or entitled to be a part of that same system for athletics.
Athletic opportunities are not denied to home schooled students. They can compete through the recreation league, as well as AAU and travel teams. The YMCA in Pulaski County has leagues for some sports as well.
When a student takes the field wearing the cardinal and vegas gold of Pulaski County High School, they are required to meet plenty of standards. They have to meet a certain grade point average, they have to be in good standing with the school, and they have to have maintained their attendance at school.
Get into a fight at school, your out. Having a bad day, and run into a teacher or administrator who’s having one too, you’re out. Home school students don’t have to deal with these issues.
By dealing with these issues on a daily basis, and by overcoming them and doing the right things, public school students EARN the right to represent their school on the athletic field or court. How will it be fair for him or her to meet those standards and overcome those obstacles, and then possibly end up behind someone who didn’t?
One of the main arguments that home school parents use is that they pay taxes just like everyone else, so their kids shouldn’t be denied access to the school sports programs. If that’s the case, we’ll also need to save room on the team for adults who don’t have children.
As one comment on our webpage said, “Tax argument is bogus. Always the same from the homeschool crowd. I guess we should not accept tax dollars from working people with no kids or senior citizens since they don’t use the public education system. I pay taxes too, shouldn’t I get social services, food stamps, Medicare etc. or should I get my tax dollars back. I don’t drive in your community but my tax dollars went to your road and speed bump…. Where’s my refund. Tax dollars are used all the time for public works etc. that all citizens don’t utilize. Try again taxpayer.”
I won’t get too deep into the issue of student transfers and recruiting, but it does need to be mentioned. In this day and age of mommy and daddy taking little Bobby or little Betty to the school down the road because they have a better chance of getting playing time there and being “the next big thing”, I can only imagine how much worse things would be if home school students are allowed to play for school teams as well.
It comes down to loyalty to your school and loyalty to the students who attend that school. The bottom line for me is that if an athlete wants to play for a particular school team, then that athlete should be a member of that school and be proud of that fact. When the team gathers before and after the game and breaks down with “Cougar Pride”, that’s more than just a saying. It means something.
The other side of this argument is that it’s up to those in charge to make Pulaski County schools a desirable place to be. I personally see them that way already, but there is always room for improvement. Our goal should be to make Pulaski County schools so attractive that students don’t make the decision to home school, even though it offers plenty of benefits to that student. Our goal should be for every school age student that lives in Pulaski County to WANT to be a Cougar, and for them to want to EARN it.