Karla’s Korner: Which Comes First…High School Athletics or Academics?

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Which Comes First…High School Athletics or Academics?

My phone rang one evening last week with an important message from the public school system. Apparently the boy’s basketball team was going to be playing a very important game on Friday evening and if they won they would advance to the state semi-final game the following Tuesday and if they advanced the ENTIRE school system would be closed on Tuesday so that everyone could go to the game. At first I was not sure what I had heard but after reading the confirming email that had been sent I verified that yes, I had heard the message correctly and yes, school would be closed if the team won on Friday night. Personally, I do not care if schools are closed because my son is 13 and can stay home alone; however, it was not very long before Facebook began to “light up” with parents wondering what to do with their young children in the middle of the week because schools might be closed. Plans had to be made for childcare just in case which left many feeling a bit put out by the whole situation; not to mention that in most cases, extra childcare would cost for most parents which will put a strain on their already tight budgets.

As Friday evening approached, many students were super excited about the possibility of not having school on Tuesday (and Friday because of a scheduled teacher workday). On Saturday morning my phone rang and once again it was an important message from the school system. The boy’s basketball team had won and would be advancing to the semi-finals and school would be closed on Tuesday. Once again, it really does not affect me because I have older children; however, this decision has created quite a firestorm of activity with folks looking for childcare. The school system has 100 spots available for extended education childcare for the day at $20 a person; however there are way more than 100 students needing a place to go that day.

So here’s my question: Just how far should we (society) go for high school athletics? Is the school system putting athletics over academics? My personal opinion is that because this is such a rare occurrence the school system has decided that yes it is important to give everyone the opportunity to go to the game. However what is everyone else who does not wish to go or cannot go to the game supposed to do? Should the school system allow students to have an excused absence if they choose to go to the game and keep schools open? Could they have provided bus transportation for the older students who want to go to the game? Could they have closed school for the upper grades and let the younger ones stay in school? I don’t have the answers and am thankful that I am not in the position to make those decisions. I do know that at my house, my husband and I will get up and go to work like any other workday and my son, will enjoy sleeping in, laying around in his pajama pants and sweatshirt all day, play a few games of whatever it is he plays on Playstation, eat some sort of microwaveable concoction for breakfast and lunch and welcome us back home in the early evening just like always.

You decide….athletics before academics?


Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles here.

Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

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