Thursday, September 29, 2011

State Attendance Goals Impact Student Athletes

Written by: Shari Young

I've been thinking about Club Volleyball 2012, and the travel schedule our Volleyball Club is proposing and how this will impact my family. We have always been able to manage this in the past, travelling as a team/family to these events. Getting the homework in advance to do on the drive, good luck notes from teachers! All at the same time as maintaining a 4.0 Freshman Year and Superior and Distinguished Honor Roll all three years of middle school, and President’s Award! How can this be possible when she wasn’t in her seat in her classroom?

Nebraska's new "truancy law" designed to compel "perfect attendance" and remove parental discretion over school absences has serious impacts on talented, driven, and focused student athletes. School districts in the Omaha Learning Community have brought their district attendance policies "in-line" with the state mandated "Superintendent's Plan for Improving Attendance" and as part of this agenda have seriously limited the responsible judgements of principals and parents that in past years made it possible for students like mine to excel in "out-side" activities.

All over the nation, talented volleyball players are competing in the USA Volleyball Junior Qualifiers. Competing for a spot at Nationals to be held next Summer in Columbus, Ohio. Does this mean Nebraska Volleyball players will not be able to compete at these events, or will be limited now? It is absurd. Colleges from around the country come to these events to recruit top talent, and exceptional students.

Tournaments are 3 days, Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday, and you have to allow for travel, and some time to do your homework. I guess the state of Nebraska is saying that outside activities are unacceptable, even when they could help pay for your college education. I unfortunately can’t afford to fly everywhere in the middle of the night. So the choice is don’t be involved in these extracurricular activities which can develop All American Athletes and provide funding for college, because you won’t be sitting in your chair in a classroom.

How can sitting in a chair in a classroom be a better growth opportunity then traveling and competing with a team of other exceptional athletes and students and quality families? Sitting beside the boy or girl who has no life outside of school, maybe they play video games all night and get D’s! But they are equal if they are both in their chair? Really? Please help the fool who believes this to be true. The fool who thinks one size fits all! 

Look around, this great nation is made up of diversity, families, people who succeed on their own talents. And are all of the teachers in the great state of Nebraska really that exceptional that my child is better off in a classroom with them then with me? Square Peg Round Hole!

Shari Young
Millard Public Schools
Omaha, NE

1 comment:

  1. Excellent point! I have said since this horrible law was first introduced that it is punishing our most talented and gifted students. Whether it is elite athletics, leadership opportunities through 4-H or Scouts, mission work through church or other activities that sometimes take our most promising kids away from the formal classroom, these activities give our students the edge when it comes to college admissions and other future endeavors. We should not be punishing kids for having high ambitions, just because it means their education sometimes takes place outside of a classroom.