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Help kids make better choices
I fully agree with the recent column by sports editor Tim Adams regarding the proposed change in OHHS’s new athletic code. Zero tolerance? Guilt by association? Sound good, but they do not fairly and equitably treat the broad spectra of offenses. Punishment should be commensurate to the offense.
Removal from athletics should not be the first punishment considered when students violate school regulations. Athletics provide opportunities for growth in leadership, team-building, competition, self-worth and sportsmanship. I view athletics as a very important part of a student’s education. Why remove the student from this positive environment at the first sign of trouble? When a kid is thrown off a team for a first offense, things can easily go bad. Now the kid has more time and opportunity to find trouble, and no teammates and coaches to help bring him back into the fold.
I know that the threat of removal from a sport can act as a strong incentive to behave properly, but I think there are better ways to curb bad behavior. Instead of taking away physical activity, why not make them do more, like run a couple miles every day around the track. Or spend a few hours each week cleaning up the school grounds or classrooms. Some will say that we need to cut out the bad apples, but I think instead of giving up on kids who make a mistake, we should help guide them toward making better choices.