Let community help with extracuricular school programs

I would suggest that school districts remove the requirement for staff sponsorship in extracurricular activities

To the Editor:

Some years ago, just after I started to involve myself in the high school basketball program, I petitioned the school board to alter their policy requiring staff sponsorship in all extracurricular activities. I argued the idea that, if teachers were not required by contract to be involved in these activities than the requirement to have a staff member present at all times was an obstacle to the schools ability to hold these activities. If the school board valued student participation  in  extracurricular activities then they should encourage community involvement by changing their policy. To the board’s credit the policy was changed. Now any person in the community may take responsibility for an activity simply by receiving permission from the school management and agreeing to a criminal check. This decision, progressive at the time, has given rise to qualified and dedicated people in activities ranging from sports to band to prom to name a few.                                                                                                              I have met many teachers throughout the years I have coached basketball who are extremely dedicated to their involvement in the basketball programs in their schools.  Some of them have dedicated many years of their lives to building these programs to be competitive in the province. At  the triple “A” level there are numerous  scholorships on the line. Teachers build bonds with their players that go far beyond the teacher student relationship. Also, many of these teachers have their own children involved on their teams.

I am not a teacher but I do believe this choice of tactics by the teachers union to be a poor choice. The decision that is being forced on those teachers who commit themselves to after school activities is putting them in an impossible position.

They will have to choose if they want to politicize their volunteerism to some end that is difficult to foresee at great loss to them personally.                                                                        In  closing, I would suggest that all school districts remove the requirement for staff sponsorship in extracurricular activities and open the door for more community involvement.

Something to think about.

Billy Potash, Cawston