Sunday, July 13, 2008

So they've cut athletics . . .

The town I live in is predominantly Black--mostly African-American and immigrants from the Caribbean. The school budget (which would have caused school taxes to go up) failed to pass last month so the school board passed an austerity budget which effectively eliminates all interscholastic sports (as well as over 100 teaching positions). No football, no basketball, no cross country, no soccer, no track and field, no cheerleading, no volleyball, no tennis, no swimming, no wrestling, no baseball, no softball, no golf. Nothing.

The big news last week was that someone got shot on the avenue which is the main shopping area aside from a Target complex.

I just wonder what the hell these folks think will happen when the kids return to school in September only to find that sports are no more. Idle hands, idle hands, idle hands.

I feel awful that my nephew, who's not a fan of school at all, finally sounded excited about the prospect of going to school even if the only reason was to play basketball. Playing would have given him a reason to take more of an interest since his being on the team would depend on his academic achievement.

I am set on homeschooling the boys (which my town is decidedly not very supportive of) but at the same time, I'd love the option of sending them to public school if I needed to. Every day, this town makes it harder and harder to see the public schools here as a viable option.

And to add to the mix, I realize living in this town is just a trip. On the one hand, many of the residents (on one side of town) are at or below poverty level yet a simple summer pleasure such as going to the pool will run you $5.75 each time (in addition to the $45 park pass for which you must pay cash) while on the other hand, free activities that would enrich the lives of our children are being thrown in the trash one by one. I dare you to find *one* accessible, safe, clean, new playground in this town. It's a shame. It makes you wonder. It makes you frustrated and angry. And then it makes you wonder what you can realistically do. It often makes you feel helpless.

It will take $950,000 to reinstate sports in this town. I wonder how this money will be raised when folks can't even really afford to drive anymore.

If you didn't think the economy was in a slump before . . .


Anonymous said...

I hope that your town can some how raise the necessary funds. Kids need an outlet, and if there isn't one, they are ripe for getting into trouble.

Nkemka said...

are u serious? that is ridiculous...i don't kno what i would have done if the cut many kids motivation for keeping their grades up is playing sports.athletics give people opportunity to go to give people leadership qualities and lessons in unity...sometihng needs to be done about that

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