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By Tayler Nunes

No sports. For a majority of high
school students this is the worst remark they can hear from a teacher. The
ineligibility policy is a topic of discussioned in recent faculty meetings.

As stated in the school handbook, the policy indicates: To be eligible to participate in extracurricular clubs
and activities and interscholastic athletics, students must have earned passing
grades in all courses (incomplete grades are not considered passing grades) – using
quarter/term grades only – in the term immediately preceding participation in
the activity (club) or sport. Eligibility for a succeeding term is determined
on the day report cards for the previous term is issued to all students.

Mr. Murray Galster, science teacher and golf coach, finds this policy to be
reasonable “because we call them student athletes – they’re students first.
Academics take priority.”

Vice Principal, Mr. Marc Bender, agrees. “The current policy is a reminder that they
have to place a highest priority on academics. Class work has to be completed.”

When asked the same question, Junior, tennis player, Kristen Ydoate says, “I think
that it’s fair to not let students participate in sports if they are failing
the class for the semester. However I don’t think it’s fair if the student is
just failing for the term.”

The exact issue has been the topic of recent faculty meetings and has teachers
confused on what to do.

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Commenting
on the issue, Mr. Bender said, “I do think it’s fair. It’s an ongoing issue
that students don’t know the policy. Ineligibility is based on the term grade.
We need to try to come up with a more clear policy.”

Agreeing
with the fairness of the issue, Mr. Galster stated, “I don’t think a student
should be able to try for one term, fail another, and be able to play.” Mr.
Galster thinks that if a student passes the first term, he or she will then
think it’s okay to slack the next term simply because they will be able to
continue playing sports.

Since
most student athletes have practices everyday after school and weekly games,
they have less time to do homework, remarked Ydoate.

“Since
I have tennis so often during the week, it can be a struggle to fit all of my
school work into my schedule,” said Ydoate, “but since school is my top
priority I make sure I get everything completed.”

Not
giving much sympathy to the issue, Mr. Galster stated, “Sometimes they have
less time. An extra-curricular means it’s a choice.” Mr. Galster thinks
students have to be responsible enough to make the choice for schoolwork come
before sports.

It
looks like the faculty is not going to change the policy any time in the near
future, only to make it clearer so students know the consequences. On a last
note, Mr. Galster clarified, “Teachers, for the most part won’t fail a student
if they are showing a good effort – even if test grades aren’t there. It’s [the
student’s] choice.”

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