Don’t lose sight of the children

By From page A8 | March 27, 2014

Hurray for Davis parents.

They care about their schools. While some are involved only for their own children, most are not. Parents are responsible for starting, funding, and maintaining programs to expand opportunities for all students.

I do not know any of the parties involved in this volleyball fiasco. My children graduated long ago. I do have a unique prospective on the issues. For almost 20 years I employed high school students. Those young people were important to me and they shared a lot of their joys and disappointments. I have also been a teacher and a coach. The politics involved in picking students for special recognition has not changed.

Today, the number of students assures that there are many more losers than winners. In the drive to be the “best” we have lost sight of the purpose of these programs,, which should be, to provide every student, who is willing to work hard, the opportunity to be part of a team. Now, just to try out for one of these elite groups requires a time and financial commitment that is out of the reach of many parents.

I agree that teaching in Davis has its own special problems. It can be very difficult dealing with overly involved parents. If bragging rights weren’t so important maybe we could get back to what schools should be about: creating opportunities for all students. Perhaps the time has come to re-evaluate why children are being excluded from programs we all pay for.

It has been suggested that children need to learn how to lose. Children do need to learn about failure, they also need to learn about honesty and integrity. Young people who have the courage to try, deserve to win or lose on their own merits. No one has more power over a child than the person who gets to decide whether or not they can do the thing they love.

No excuse can justify the abuse of that power.

Susan Brady

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