Archive for Thursday, September 20, 2007

USD 491 board right to study policy change

September 20, 2007

Earlier this month, the Eudora USD 491 Board of Education agreed to allow Emily Ballock to compete on Eudora's cross country team while at the same time participate on the school's cheerleading squad. In making the decision, the board indicated it would further study allowing students to participate in more than one sport per season.

There certainly can be physical and academic consequences to students spreading themselves too thin and it is something students and their families should not enter into lightly.

But the same reservations could be raised for a whole range of teenage activities, from band to employment, and we can think of nothing that would make sports (and cheerleading) exceptional. Students and their parents should be the best judge of how well the student can handle those situations with the consultation of coaches involved.

When writing recently about district middle and high school vocal music instructor Angela Yarnell's distinction as the Kansas Choir Young Director of the Year, we praised the district's commitment to developing well-rounded students. Limiting student activities would seem counterproductive to that goal.

A district move to relax participation restrictions would be a positive gesture at a time when the trend even in high schools is toward specialization and students concentrating on one sport as they strive to catch the eye of college coaches. We view that kind of willful limitation less beneficial than the opportunity for greater involvement.

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