Limiting Athletic Practices During Breaks
The debate of over whether or not to pass a motion that would limit athletic practices for scholastic sports at HHS during school breaks is a hot topic in Council right now. The current motion, if passed, would lead to the adoption of a school policy in which school sports teams must, to quote the motion, “allow for two consecutive days of no scheduled practices or games during Thanksgiving and February break, and three consecutive days during Holiday and April break.” There is a wide spectrum of opinions on the matter from students, coaches, and other staff members on the issue. For this specific article, the Broadside interviewed Henry Lang, the Council’s Public Relations Person and a member of the Student Life Committee, about his opinions on the matter.
Henry, who has been involved with this issue since June of 2015, told the Broadside that he supports the passage of the motion because athletes need time during school breaks to rest and spend time with their families. His decision is based off of both feedback he received from students, parents, and staff members on the matter, as well as his own personal experience. He reflected on his time on the school’s varsity swim team and said that he would be in favor of having two days off during February Break, commenting that although it was right before the team’s state championship meet, the team would “need time to rest up before the big event.” Henry also emphasized the importance of allowing students to spend quality time with their families. On this point, he stated, “Family time over vacation is a must. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but most seniors have just a few months left with their families.”
As of now, there is large amount of support from both parents and students for this motion. According to information that was collected from parent surveys and council forums, 73% of parents who participated in the survey supported the motion and 149 of the 187 students who participated in a council forum on the topic said that they were for the motion. On the matter of support for the motion, Henry said, “The community at-large has responded with a significant amount of support.” He also stated that the large amount of support for the original motion, which would have made sports teams give athletes half of the whole break off, was shocking. In reference to the opposition of the motion, which includes the majority of the coaching staff and half of the school’s team captains, Henry commented, “We surveyed coaches, respected and appreciated their opinions, and made a major compromise to cut down the motion to solely 2 or 3 days of no practices/games. If the athletic department’s philosophy is sincere (family first, school second, sports third) then they will continue to work with us to grant athletes more time off.” He went on to emphasize that although he respected and understood their argument, he also asked them consider whether they’d rather spend a few days with their family and still have at least six days to practice during a break, or spend their whole break practicing at the expense of quality time with their family.
In response to those who feel that Council should not get involved with the scheduling of athletic practices, Henry added, “I respect all opinions on the motion, but people should note that it does fall within Council’s jurisdiction. It’s the same democratic process that brought the co-curricular code of conduct, eligibility for students to participate in a sport be based on a passing GPA, and recognition of missing 1st period after a late night/leaving school early for a game as excused absences.”