Archive for Thursday, October 14, 2004

School board gives OK to BJHS wrestling program

October 14, 2004

The arguments for and against were the same, only the sport had changed.

In a manner strikingly similar to last month's soccer program adoption, the Baldwin Board of Education approved the addition of a junior high wrestling program at Monday's meeting.

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In a 5-1 vote, the school board approved to add junior high wrestling to the district's activities under the agreement that the program would be responsible for entirely funding the sport for the first three years. Board Member Scott Lauridsen was the dissenting vote. Board Member Chip Hornberger was absent from Monday's meeting.

At last month's meeting, the board approved the addition of a soccer program after parents and patrons petitioned for the sport and agreed to cover the program's costs for three years.

The same offer was brought before the board at Monday's meeting in an effort to get junior high wrestling started.

Lauridsen said he had problems, as he did with the soccer proposal, adopting a program that wasn't being funded by the district. He said if the district thought the activity or program was important, then the district should include it in the budget.

He said he also was afraid of the precedent the board was setting.

"I don't know how, as a board, we can refuse to do this after approving the last request," he said, "but I also don't know how we can refuse any parent group that comes forward now.

"I think this sets a dangerous precedent," he said.

As with the soccer proposal, the junior high wrestling program will be evaluated by the district at the end of the three-year-period to determine students' interest in it. The board will then decide whether to continue the program by budgeting for it.

Board President Ed Schulte said though it would be ideal to have the district fund the program from the beginning instead of the patrons, the current arrangement would help the district evaluate the wrestling program.

"When is free not good enough? It's hard to know that," he said. "But people funding it gives the board a chance to assess it."

In other business, the school board:

  • Began the meeting at Marion Springs Elementary School. But because of a power outage at the school, the meeting was moved to the district office.
  • Approved in a 6-0 vote the revised curricular and media materials policy. The old policy was examined after a parent questioned the use of a book in a high school class last year. The old policy proved to be unclear to district officials, teachers and patrons leading to a months-long debate about the book and the policy.

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