School district was right to revisit Middle Park High’s ‘three strikes’ policy |

School district was right to revisit Middle Park High’s ‘three strikes’ policy

At last week’s East Grand Board of Education meeting, board members made a positive step for students when they decided to revisit the “three strikes” policy, which has long been a part of the Middle Park High School athletic / extracurricular activity handbook.

No changes have been made, but we are glad to see the discussion on the table. We look forward to seeing a change in this policy with the input of coaches, parents and students.

As it stands now, student offenses are recorded and collected over a four-year period ” freshman to senior year. After the third offense, students are no long allowed to play sports or participate in extracurricular activities at Middle Park High School.

Offenses include:

– Possession and/or use of alcohol, tobacco, unauthorized drugs and controlled substances.

– Actions that are unsportsmanlike

– Actions that present a danger to the welfare of others

– Damage to school property or the property of others

– Theft

– Actions that discredit the team and/or school

– Conviction of a felony

For the first offense, students are suspended from participation in 1/3 of the schedule for that year, including tournaments and play-off games.

For the second offense, a student is suspended from athletic and extracurricular participation for one full season.

For the third and final offense, students are suspended from further participation in any athletics or activities at Middle Park High School.

As the school district examines its three strikes policy, we ask them to also examine the spirit of the policy and not just its finer points.

When a student is hanging in the balance between self-destruction and the right path, often a connection to athletics or success in an extracurricular activity can be a turning point.

A good coach is a role model who teaches character alongside the rules of the game.

We believe that banning children out of sports or extracurricular activities will have opposite the desired effect on some students.

We agree with a comment made at Tuesday’s school board meeting by Marlo Klassen, Middle Park High School athletic director and assistant principal, when he suggested that each case be looked at separately.

Not all students will benefit from alienation from athletics and activities, and not all “offenses” are equal.

Don’t chase our children away. Instead, keep them involved and teach them to make better decisions. That’s exactly what athletics and extracurricular activities are designed to do.

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