Staff editorial: school board drowns hope of swimming team

Staff editorial: school board drowns hope of swimming team

Illustration by Adam Henderson

JagWire staff

The school board recently voted to have a bowling team starting in January for both Mill Valley and De Soto High Schools. The swimming team was not approved for multiple reasons, including a possible lack of funding (see page 15).

While a bowling team will give another opportunity for students to excel, the school board seemed to neglect the support and enthusiasm given for a swimming team and instead focused solely on the fiscal aspect of the matter. Strictly based off student polls, statistics showed swimming and bowling to have a similar level of student interest.

At the end of the last year, freshmen, sophomore and junior students were asked if they would be interested in joining a swimming or bowling team if offered. On average, between both schools, 36 percent of students said they would be interested in a bowling team and 43 percent said they would be interested in a swimming team.

During the board meeting, five students spoke on behalf of their respective sports. Four of those students were swimmers and only one was a bowler. In addition to the students, there were five non-student supporters of a swimming team and two non-student supporters of a bowling team who spoke. Some members of the board failed to take this display of support into account when they made their final decision to not add a swimming team at this time.

Facts presented at the Monday, Sept. 12 meeting estimated an entire season of swimming for both boys and girls teams at the high schools to cost $47,844 while bowling teams for both schools would cost $21,820. Although the cost difference is significant, if the district had really been focused on saving money, it should not have approved either team.

The district should have taken into account the active interest level of students in deciding which activities to add instead of just solely basing the decision on the financial aspect. Perhaps then the decision would have been one that appealed to more students.

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