It’s risky to challenge the role of sports in public schools during football season in WNC. People get downright passionate about their local high school’s football team in this part of the country. In fact, I was watching the High School sports roundup on the news the other night and it reminded me of the long conversations we had back when I was on the school board.
Sports Programs in Education Settings...Pros and Cons
Why Sports Are a Positive Influence:
- Get the community to support the school – build community spirit
- Give students outlets for achievement they might not realize in classroom
- Improve the health of students through hard exercise
- Provide a source of revenue for schools to do some of the extras
- Potentially provide funds for college for an outstanding athlete
The Negative Side of Sports in School:
- Focus community support away from academics
- Distract students from the importance of educational success– kids who graduate without knowing how to read?
- Cause lifelong injuries for some students (damage to brain, heart, knees, back, shoulders neck…)
- Create an uneven playing field for students. Certain athletes – depends on the sport and the gender – may get more attention, support and resources than others. Non-athletes can be disregarded overall.
- Direct school finances to sports facilities and equipment instead of educational materials.
Be assured, there are many other points to be made on either side of this issue. There are even more reasons to look hard and long at contact sports and athlete safety. These are just the top 5 of opposing views and thus the tip of the story.
What about you?
What has your experience been? How do you evaluate the value of sports in school for you and yours?