April 15th, 2004

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04:13 pm - 1KWFFH: on the right to engage in extracurricular sporting activity.

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1KWFFH: on the right to engage in extracurricular sporting activity. - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: yozhik Date: April 15th, 2004 - 04:13 pm (Link)
The problem here is that you aren't looking at the money and where it goes. Athletic programs cost considerably more than any other after-school activity, yet are the most exclusive in who can participate. This often isn't an issue of who can participate in competitive events alone, but who can enjoy the benefit of training as well. I feel it's more than appropriate that anyone's children should have equal access to these athletic opportunities funded through public money, even if they don't get to play in a single competitive event. Perhaps they won't be able to run fast enough or throw enough three-pointers in the first year to be competitive, but without access to such training you are essentially closing off any chance those people might have to better athletes. Since the goal of public education is to allow all of us to reach our potential, even if it be more limited in some areas than for others, I feel that closing off students from participating with these athletic clubs - so that we can pour all of the athletic budget into people who will not considerably benefit in comparison to those would normally get cut - to be contrary to that goal.
[User Picture]From: katieboyd Date: April 15th, 2004 - 06:10 pm (Link)
Good point.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 09:10 pm (Link)
yes... it really was...took me quite a while to think about it to respond...
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 09:09 pm (Link)
this is a really good point and one I had to think about for a while. There are several points that I think are of essence here.

1) Cost of the sports program. Yes, sports are generally the most expensive of extracurricular activities. However, sports also bring more money in than any other extra curricular activity. I don't know the specifics of the sports programs in Woodland Hills. But for instance in my school district, our Admiral King High School's basketball team was definitely profitable, and probably paid for a few school programs.

2) Rights of the students to enjoy the programs. I would argue that enjoyment of the sports program is not merely limited to the atheletes. Students may support the team in other ways. They can come and enjoy the games. They can attend pep rallys, make signs, join the cheerleaders or the band. They can do any number of things. Yes, one might argue that the athelete derives the greatest benefit from the sport but that doesn't mean he derives the only benefit. Also, when I was in highschool, I was the editor of the school newspaper, and if I didn't like your writing, you simply didn't get published. That simple. You could still read the paper all you wanted. Sports should be no different.

3) goal of the sports program. I'm kind of torn here. I understand your point, but I'm not sure if I agree with it. I'm not totally sure I don't either. It all comes down to what the point of a sports program is. Is it to bring the entire student body up to a bare minimum level of physical achivement or is it to further challenge those who excel. I think I am inclined to believe it is the latter. As I was pointing out in the original rant, I do think that physical development should be seen as important as well as mental development, but I would argue that in school activities, such as gym and english class are meant to develop the student to competancy levels, but that extracurricular activities like football and the debate team are intended to expand the skills of those that already excel. So in your example, its the difference between having a german class and an after school german club.

But yeah, definitely good points.

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