Kudos! To School Board & County Commission

editorial-logo3The turkey leftovers are gone and Christmas lights have begun to make their appearance. Things are moving on and so goes the world, so also goes the local government. In an comprehensive move to address equity issues in the athletic programs at Jefferson County High School, the School Board recently allocated $2.4 million dollars for upgrades to their facilities. Now, that might sound like a bunch of money because it is a bunch of money but it is not an out of line number for the upgrades that are coming. The proposal to turf the football field, do upgrades to the practice field and the softball field, as well as the tennis courts and install a eight land tract came from Director of Schools Johnston. While it may seem like the price tag is high, it really isn’t. I checked it out with someone who had recently overseen a similar project and the party line is that the money is on the mark.

I know that I have a bias on the issue because my niece plays soccer and it has been grossly ignored but I can see the benefit across the board. In the world of education, sports are the money maker. School Systems want to increase revenue and have a few of the extras that simply are not in the budget, they go to their athletics as a means of making money. In the past, JCHS athletic funds have paid for many things, including teaching position and equipment. Sports have their place in the educational process. They teach character traits that will carry student athletes beyond the field or court. They bring unity to a community and , though nobody really likes to talk about it, they bring in a much needed source of revenue.

When not handled correctly, athletics can also teach some negative lessons. Lessons like girls are not as worthy as boys or girls sports are not qualified to be the spotlight event. Obviously not true on a larger playing field. You only have to look at the Lady Vols to see the impact of w omen’s sports. But, that was a hard fight that was won after years of proving themselves. Our girls should know they are worthy the second they step on the field. If you are a Lady Patriot you are in the spotlight, not waiting in the shadows behinds whatever guy’s sport is currently in season. So, kudos to the School Board and the County Commission. Let’s let the light shine on all of our student athletes. They all work hard and play hard. They all deserve our best!

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