Today is Thursday, October 30, 2014

School board member wants 4th block changed back for athletes

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To the Editor:

To all the coaches, athletes and parents of athletes, I want to apologize to you for the recent action that was taken concerning 4th block. Just for everyone’s information, the Wilson County Board of Education did not vote for this change, but this school board member is ready to get it changed back like it was.

I truly understand how important education is. I also know how important athletics are to students and remember that students make or break your school. I don’t think it is a matter of practicing during the day, but an issue of athletes being able to stay together and workout during that block as they have been doing for years.

Athletes are great students. You don’t have many discipline problems with athletes, nor do you have absentees and tardy problems with athletes. What you do get are well-rounded young men and women who know they have to make good grades, behave, and be on time. What more could we ask for?

The change has caused unnecessary inconveniences for both students and coaches. Getting students up at 5 a.m. to work out, spend 7-1/2 hours a day in school and another 2-3 hours practicing makes for a long day for these young people. This is costing them family time, study time and jobs if any of them work. Now some people will say that the students don’t have to play sports. But if you think that, you don’t realize the true value sports plays in a young person’s life and the lessons they learn from being a student athlete.

Coaches put their hearts and souls into their programs. Yes, they do get a supplement, but if you think they are getting rich, you are mistaken. The additional money they make does not come close to compensating them for the time they spend preparing and coaching these students. This change affects their family time as well, which isn’t fair to their spouses or children.

I know athletics work in schools to develop students who are committed to both school work and their sport. I see if first-hand; it is an important part of the high school career and it makes them realize they have to work hard to achieve good things.

As a school board member, I am only one voice and vote. I will attempt to do whatever I can to ensure that our students are protected and treated fairly. Once again, the issue is not practicing during school hours. It is being able to work out so they can go home at a decent hour, spend time with their families and attempt to live a little bit of a teenage life on top of being committed to their school and program.

Greg Lasater, Zone 5 Member,Wilson County Board of Education,Lebanon

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