Extracurricular activities cut into funds, learning
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 10:42 am

To the Editor:

In response to “Sports Help to Create Well-Rounded Students,” which ran in the May 21-27 edition of North Country This Week: For those who have been taught sportsmanship, fairness and how to get along with their fellow opponents. I have no argument that can be true in many cases.

Unfortunately, kids without effective parenting make up the majority of kids these days. Too many parents don’t care, don’t bother, and can’t be bothered to bring their children up that way. And school sports all too often put emphasis not on good sportsmanship, but emphasize winning and an all out effort to be superior instead. A “star” athlete, when one appears, doesn’t hear much about sportsmanship but instead what he can do with hard work, superiority and the ability to beat others at all costs. The schools are behind those attitudes and even the better coaches can’t compete in the important areas that the kids need. The pressure to excel at all costs takes high precedence over sportsmanship and etiquette by that time.

As much as I love what the author said, it is not the norm and in these cash-strapped days. It is precisely why I am beginning to wonder about schools supporting sports as much as they do.

When one considers the cost of field maintenance, track maintenance, equipment purchases and maintenance, uniforms, insurances, non-gym costs, special needs accommodations and on and on and on, I have to seriously wonder why schools continue to fund it all.

The proper place for finding the funds for all that is out in the neighborhoods and the many boys & girls and boys and girls clubs and their parents and supporters. It should not be a school function, should not be funded by the schools and whether one plays or not should depend on the rules of pla y and merit, not their grades in school. Funding should come from the public and not from the schools. Mentoring and assistance should come from their organizations, not from the schools.

Then a poor student without a prayer of playing in school might be a great player on the field, the track, or the court.

I think there are many other areas schools do not need to pay for also. Music; there are plenty of alternative places to learn to sing, dance or play an instrument or act. The schools should not be metering out so much money to support those and many other activities that have nothing to do with learning.

Eventually a point could be reached where going to school resulted in learning and not missing classes for music, gym, etc.

These things simply do not belong under the schools’ bailiwicks. Academia should be acadamia. Not a place to drain off all our taxes to support them. Not only that, but these outside organizations could provide better opportunities for a lot of less money than the schools spend.

Tom Rivet`