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The case for killing off school sports programs

September 23rd, 2013 by Steven Gardner

For the record, I played sports in high school and would have blown gas out my ears if anyone would have suggested taking any of it away.

Nonetheless, in the last year I’ve watched two districts negotiate funding. Music and other classes have taken hits. Not once, however, have I heard much, if any, suggestion to scale back anything in sports. In fact, in North Kitsap they’re discussing putting in a press box at Kingston High School so the football team can play its games on campus rather than at an already built stadium at North Kitsap High School. One of the arguments against it, a side that isn’t winning, is that the district is considering spending $30,000 on a press box when it’s cutting elsewhere. On the other hand I don’t know if anyone has asked how much it costs to transport Kingston players to North Kitsap, so maybe at least over time there would be a cost saving. It might take a while for that to pencil out, but I haven’t asked either.

Amanda Ripley at The Atlantic Monthly, presents a case that despite its title, The Case Against High School Sports, offers a fair conversation about what might happen if schools eliminated sports. It’s fair, because Ripley also addresses sports’ pluses.

Precisely because of people like me, this might be a tough sell. But Ripley offers as compelling a case as I’ve ever heard. My apologies to the Kitsap Sun sports staff.

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4 Responses to “The case for killing off school sports programs”

  1. catherine ahl Says:

    Check the latest figures – the press box cost is now up to $85,000, the cost of a teacher.

  2. Dave Dahlke Says:

    You are right on Steven!!!

  3. Mick Sheldon Says:

    I remember when we were all meeting in the pre building stages of the North Kitsap High School . Could not help but see the different ways being grouped together . Reminded me of HS . The Jocks , the Nerds, environmental proned people , etc . Sorts did get much attention because much of the area the school was being buit was unable to be utilized because of the envirnomentAL IMPACT .

  4. Mick Sheldon Says:

    Totally disagree with the author Steve . Straw man argument . More sports less math . Why not say less sports more drugs ? The United States is behind in math and science , press boxes is not the reason . . Good teachers , “challenging” curriculum , allowing for different learning styles . We have school districts in the inner cities that have generational failure and drop out rates with students , males having more of a chance to a police record by the time they are 18 then a diploma . Our kids in the suburbs believe they are smarter then they area according to a recent survey , even though lacking behind in test scores to the rest of the world , their esteem and grades tells them they are above the rest . We are already spending way more money per student then those countries on students . Money is important , but its not because of sports that we have our educational problems. I remember when we were all meeting in the pre building stages of the North Kit sap High School . Could not help but see the different ways being grouped together . Reminded me of HS . The Jocks , the Nerds, environmental supportive , etc . Sports did get much attention because much of the area the school was being built on was unable to be utilized because of the environmental impact and the cost involved.

    Perfect world there would be funding for both . But yes education is the priority . Why does there have to be a Press Box ?

    Good Documentary if anyone is interested is “Waiting For Superman ‘ get it on Netflix Same director that directed Inconvenient Truth . The bias is left of center , the documentary is quite revealing of the problems facing this nation and has some answers in my opinion.

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