Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

March 09, 2003

Preston column unfair to schools

"It's not fair!" That is all Mike Preston should have said in his article "Big Brother is a big bother in Carroll County high schools" March 4. Mr. Preston provided absolutely no new information nor did it provide a possible solution.

Mr. Preston argued that it was unfair that nine Westminster High girls were kicked off the varsity basketball team for taking part in an off-campus party where alcohol was present. To Mr. Preston's defense, the policy probably could be better. However, Mr. Preston simply trashes the policy and makes no attempt to present any ideas that could help make it better. Mr. Preston also argues that government is peering into our lives too much.

I believe that the government should not be overly involved in my life and that is why I campaign for less government. In this case, though, the school is simply trying to protect its image. Making sure those who represent the school do so in a proper manner at all times does that. In addition, Mr. Preston argues that athletes are unfairly singled out in this policy. While athletes are included they are not the only ones covered by the policy. Any person who participates in extra-curricular activities who violates the policy is affected.

Mr. Preston also argues that the policy leads to people trying to cover up their actions to keep from getting caught. Looking at the laws of our country they all lead people to cover up their actions so as not to get caught. Does Mr. Preston believe, then, that all of our laws should be repealed because they lead people to try to cover up the infraction? The Board of Education is unfairly taking away a young person's opportunity to play sports, Mr. Preston argues. The Board of Education does not have to provide any opportunity to play sports. It is a privilege. These young women simply lost their opportunity to play at Westminster High. They could transfer to a private school to play or take part in leagues outside of school. The girls still have opportunities, however, they have to look elsewhere.

Finally, Mr. Preston states that the policy does not prevent anyone from drinking alcohol or going to parties where underage drinking takes place.

That is not true. I chose not to place myself in these situations at any time when I was in high school just a few short years ago. While I did not participate in prep athletics I was involved in numerous extra-curricular activities. Today, I spend a lot of time in Carroll County schools and I know many students who do not place themselves in these situations to make sure that they can continue to play on the athletic teams.

This entire situation is terribly unfortunate. However, the schools have a right to make sure those who represent it do so in a becoming manner. Each athlete is told at the beginning of the season about the policy. It is, as Mr. Preston states, a "decade-old policy." There was no surprise. Is the policy perfect? No. But we can work on it to make it better. I hope that Mr. Preston can offer some ideas to improve it rather than just trash it.

But, is it fair? Yes.

Henry Griese


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