Saturday, September 20, 2014

Yes, He Should Play

From the Kingman Miner: The irony of their son's situation as a private-school student being denied an opportunity to participate in sports at a public school wasn't lost on Alfred and Rhonda Mayo.
"If I didn't have to work a full-time job, I would have taken him out of school years ago and home-schooled him," said Rhonda. "And from what I learned at your school board meeting, at least if he was being home-schooled, he could play football at your public schools. Well, isn't this the same logic? It sounds like a double standard."
The Kingman couple was commenting on recent discussion by the Kingman Unified School District Governing Board, which is considering the issue and will vote at the next meeting. The Mayos addressed the board earlier this month with a request for their 15-year-old son, Zack Mayo, to be allowed to play football at Kingman Middle School.
Zack, an eighth-grader at Emmanuel Christian Academy, participated in the sport at KMS as a student there last year and had begun practicing for this year's season when he was told he was no longer eligible to play. The board does not have a policy in place for students from private schools who want to participate in sports and extra-curricular activities at public schools.
By Arizona law, the district must allow any student in an accredited home-school program to participate at no cost. Also, the board follows the advice of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, which recommended about three years ago that any student in an accredited online school be allowed to participate for a cost of $200.
At the same board meeting, KUSD Superintendent Roger Jacks also brought up the issue, although he didn't know the Mayos would be attending. Jacks said he contacted the district's attorneys in Flagstaff before the meeting and was advised that if the board wants to allow private-school students to participate, it should table the issue until the next meeting so the law firm could provide a legal opinion.
"One of the questions I've heard is why does our policy allow students from online schools to participate and not those from private schools," said Jacks. "That's a good question and we need to address it. But if our lawyers have concerns, we also need to get their advice before we proceed. I know this is inconvenient for the family whose son wants to play, but it's what we have to do."
During the discussion, board President Charles Lucero said he would be "strongly against" allowing private-school students to participate because they could be taking the place of district students who didn't make the teams. But board members Jeri Brock and Debbie Francis said they didn't think the influx of students would be that great and they couldn't see denying those who have no chance to participate at their own schools.

This is a no brainer- the kid should play and it is a shame that it has gone this far.
The family, through their home or rent, pay school taxes for schools and they apparently are willing to pay the money to play.
As far as kids from Kingman High and John Williams high schools getting cut so a private school kid can play, well, then maybe they weren't good enough to make the team in the first place. 
And after watching the Kingman H.S. football play this past weekend, well, they need all the help they can get.  Heck, many members of the marching band were bigger than the football players and the band played better.

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