Christy Price 0

Mama Bear Comes Out

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My son attends the 8th grade in Caldwell County and I'm not going to say what school because that just isn't the issue. He is 13 years old and is an extremely good kid. He's never been a trouble maker or anything else negative for that matter. His grades suffered last year and he had nobody to blame but himself. With that being said, he's a 13 year old kid who was making a transition from an immature boy into a young man which is a confusing and crazy time for all kids his age. However, he managed to buckle down and give his all to pull himself out of that mess and pass the seventh grade. His father and I talked to him several times over the summer about how important it was to make this year different and it sank in. He started off this school year with such dedication that I am more than proud to tell you that he has A/B average so far. He decided that he wanted to play soccer for the school team and they held tryouts for three days that started on the second day of school. It was his first time ever playing soccer but he made the team and loved it. He also plays Fall Baseball so it was going to be hard to juggle both but he's my kid so, you do what you need to do. While practicing every day after school until 4:45 for soccer, he also practiced on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays of every week for the baseball team until dark and still came home exhausted and did whatever homework he had for the night. He did this willingly because he was passionate about playing. The first soccer game of the season was scheduled for today and my son was really excited while showing off his jersey to us yesterday. About 9:00 AM this morning I received a call from his soccer coach telling me they were very sorry but he couldn't play on the soccer team because of his grades from the last semester of the seventh grade. I was outraged to say the least and then spoke with several others from the school who apologized again and again saying that it was their mistake that the grade issue wasn't looked into before getting my sons hopes up and putting him on the team. I know that people make mistakes but here's my issue:

#1 The school made the oversight or mistake not my child and given that the entire point of these rules and regulations are set to teach kids that there are consequences for their actions and that they have to take responsibility for those consequences by not being allowed to play without acceptable grades. It would seem that they would take responsibility for their actions by allowing him to play and dealing with whatever consequences or penalties may apply as it was their fault. Parents OR teachers we lead by example.

#2 The rule that makes him “ineligible” is beyond my understanding and needs to be changed. The rule reads as follows:.

“In grades 9-12, the student must pass at least five courses (or the equivalent for non-traditional school schedules) each semester to be eligible anytime during the present semester and meet promotion standards established by the LEA. In grades 7 and 8, the student must pass at least one less course than the number of required core courses each semester and meet promotion standards established by the LEA. Regardless of the school organization pattern, a student who is promoted from the eighth grade to the ninth grade automatically meets the courses passed requirement for the first semester of the ninth grade.”

How on earth could you hold the previous years grades against middle school kids who are already going through so much turmoil given their age and the roller coaster of things that go on during this time? Also, sixth graders who are promoted to seventh grade AND eighth graders who are promoted to the ninth grade are given a clean slate at the beginning of the year but I guess the hormonal teenager should know better and be more disciplined when it comes to looking ahead to the future to ensure they have the grades this year to participate next year. How many of you have teenage boys who can't see past the teenage girl on their mind to even think about tomorrow? Or a teenage girl who all of a sudden is BOY CRAZY? Now, because of this rule along with the negligence of whoever the responsibility party is for checking the kids grade eligibility BEFORE placing them on a team, my son has had his heart broke and his ego crushed after working his butt off for so long to turn everything around and that is just unacceptable. What does this teach my child about all his efforts? Shouldn't he be rewarded instead of punished? A very good friend of mine made a comment to me that covers the ridiculousness of this rule; she said “That's no different than my child doing something wrong last week and me punishing him for it today. That's insane!” I couldn't have summed it up any better. My goal and my mission is to do everything in my power to get this rule changed and I won't give up on it either because it's simply unfair.

In conclusion, let me say that my reason for doing this has nothing to do with the anger I have over this situation but everything to do with the fact that the NC Middle Schools Athletic Policy is completely ridiculous. I'm asking for signatures on this petition for the unfair rule itself not to ask for pity for my son or myself. The damage to my son’s ego is already done but I would like to keep this from happening to someone else's kid in the future.

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