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Constitutional right to participate in sports?


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  • 1 Post By Poncho06
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  #1  
May 9th, 2012, 05:46 PM
Linzie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Sparked by this article:

CLICK HERE


A mother is suing the school after her freshman son got cut from the basketball team.

Quote:
the lawsuit filed by Bloodman goes much further, claiming that her son has a constitutional right to participate in school sports, as you can read in the excerpt from the suit directly below.

"…the deprivation of the right to a full and complete education which includes competition in sports and consequently athletic scholarships impairs John Doe of a property right guaranteed under both the U.S. and State Constitutions."

The suit further alleges that the sheer lack of an orderly appeals process for students who were cut is also a violation of due process.
So... do kids have a constitutional right to participate in extra-curricular activities? Should sports/band/choir/etc be included in a full education?

And all other thoughts you may have.

I personally think this woman is nuts. Your kid got cut, he wasn't good enough. Practice, practice, practice and try out again next year. Simple.
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  #2  
May 9th, 2012, 06:23 PM
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Umm, my first thought is....**** happens.

What does she think about all those kids who never make it in the first place, much less get cut? Or the kids who can't participate in sports because it's not financially possible for them or their parents. I mean I don't see her standing up for their constitutional rights or anything even remotely like that.

I don't actually believe extra curricular activities are included in a full education, nor should they be. I think it's fantastic they are offered, and available for so many. But I don't find them necessary, whatsoever. Nor do I believe they ought to be covered under some constitutional right. They're called extra curricular for a reason.
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  #3  
May 9th, 2012, 06:28 PM
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I do not believe playing sports is a right.
However, regarding this situation, I think the school did wrong. It sounds like he made the team and then was cut just to make room for football players who needed a spot, months after the fact.
That's just what I'm getting from the article, though more information may come out to change my mind.
Is it grounds for a lawsuit, no. Does it seem like what the school did was unfair, yes.
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  #4  
May 9th, 2012, 06:30 PM
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They have a right to participate in something, but if they're not good enough to make the team, then that's on them. There are other activities that a high school student can participate in to get the so called full education of school. Sports are important, but team sports, not so much. Unless you plan on your child trying to get a college scholarship in sports, they don't NEED to be on a team. Also, if a sports scholarship was that important, I'm sure your child would be a better well rounded athlete that has most likely been playing sports since early childhood.
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  #5  
May 9th, 2012, 06:56 PM
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ITA with Leslie. The school was 100% in the wrong to let this boy be a member of the team for several months and then boot him off once the football players became available (end of season?) If he wasn't good enough to play than that should have come to light during tryouts not months later.

The simple fact that 9 out of the 11 players were replaced leads me to believe these kids were just being used to keep the team in their division until the football season was over.

I don't necessarily think she should sue for this unless it was for the return of athletic fees but I'd probably make a stink too if they used my kid like that.
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  #6  
May 9th, 2012, 09:48 PM
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I definitely don't think what the school did is fair, or necessarily right, but I also don't think it's worthy of a lawsuit, either, or nearly as big of a deal as she's making it.
Being cut, in and of itself, is what I was referring to with the **** happens comment, I probably should have elaborated on that one. Because that does happen. It even happens after a season has started, heck even halfway into a season, I have seen it happen. Usually it simply means the kid wasn't good enough to keep up with the rest of the pack. This case, maybe not, but it is also possible the kid(or any of them that were cut) really wasn't all that good but someone was needed, so they went with anyone they could get.

Does it suck? Yeah it does. Life sometimes sucks. I'd love to know if any of the kids that were cut were actually really that good, or were just placeholders until someone better could come in. Not that it would make it any better, just a simple curiosity of mine.

It definitely has absolutely nothing at all to do with some constitutional rights being violated. In fact, it's a bit insulting to suggest that, imo. Definitely not worthy of some time wasting court case either.
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  #7  
May 9th, 2012, 10:09 PM
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Ignoring the specifics of the story... there is no right to play sports. If you are not good enough for the team, then you do not play.


But in regards to this story, the school was in the wrong. Do I think they should be sued for it? No. But I do think the original team should be reassembled and the football players should be SOL. My brothers often had to choose which spring sport they were going to do, because they over lapped. I didn't see them kicking kids off the track team to make space for the badminton or ping pong team (and those were often the talented kids who wanted something more sedate after basket ball and volleyball seaons).
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  #8  
May 10th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Players can be cut from a team any time a better player comes along. I remember when I first moved to Nebraska we got there after the school year had started and I tried out for volley ball. The team was already formed and had been practicing. If I had scored high enough on my try out, which they were required to allow me to do, then I would have displaced someone that was already on the team. Luckily for the other girls, I really sucked at volley ball and didn't make the team. lol
If those football players tried out after football season ended and were better players than the kid that got cut, the school has the right to use the best players. Sorry, but not being a star athlete is something that like 98% of people have to accept about themselves.
Sports is not a constitutional right. This is why education includes PE, so that kids DO get the chance to be as active as they need to be in the school day. Many schools also have intramural and junior varsity teams, for the kids who didn't make it to the major team.
Now, the school may need to change the method they use for tryouts. The only reason I was allowed to try out for volley ball late was because I wasn't a student at the school when the original tryouts were. I don't understand why the football players were allowed to try out late. So maybe they're due for a policy change.
BUT, that kid's constitutional rights were not in any way violated. His education will be complete even without getting to play varsity level sports. And honestly, this is going to sound mean, but that mom doesn't need to worry about him missing out on sports scholarships. If he was that easily replaced with other students from the school, then there are just that many more that could replace him at the college level.
Some parents really need to learn to accept when their kids aren't the star of the team. I see this in my kids' sports all the time, parents being pissed that the kid didn't get the position the parents wanted, or what the parents think is "enough" play time. Sports teams should not have to sacrifice the quality of their game to sooth egos.
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  #9  
May 10th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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I have never seen a player cut from a team after they made it in try-outs, unless it was a disciplinary or eligibility issue. I had no idea that places cut kids after the fact. Here, if you aren't one of the better players, you just sit the bench, but you don't get booted from the team.
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  #10  
May 10th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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If I am reading the article correctly, 9 of the teams 11 players were cut
Quote:

Bloodman's son, who is a minor and was not named in the suit, spent two months as part of the
team

after qualifying through two tryouts in August only to be replaced three months later by a member of the football
team

, as were nine of the team's 11 original players.
Hmmmm...I would have to think about this and see if I can find something else on it but no, I do not believe it is a constitutional right to play varsity team sports. Was it right for the school to cut the students? It doesn't seem so.
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  #11  
May 10th, 2012, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesliek0211 View Post
I have never seen a player cut from a team after they made it in try-outs, unless it was a disciplinary or eligibility issue. I had no idea that places cut kids after the fact. Here, if you aren't one of the better players, you just sit the bench, but you don't get booted from the team.

Some teams are limited to how many players they can dress for each game. For our park and rec football teams they even limit how many coaches and water carriers a team can have.
What I've never seen is when a student attends a school and misses regular try outs, then gets to try out later or join the team mid season. The only kids I've ever known who were allowed to try out late were ones that had just moved to the school district, and if games had not already begun.
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  #12  
May 12th, 2012, 07:06 AM
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There are other teams.. community leagues, etc that let everyone play. He should go play on those..
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  #13  
May 12th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathydavid View Post
There are other teams.. community leagues, etc that let everyone play. He should go play on those..
even though he tried out, made the team. played for TWO months, and then 9/11 players were kicked off the team when football season was over?
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  #14  
May 12th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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That's the part that confuses me. At every high school I've gone to, being in one sport or activity doesn't release you from following the date guidelines of other sports. You're too busy in track season to do baseball? You don't get to do baseball. Lots of sports seasons overlap and the kids have to choose 1 sport if they can't figure out a way to make both work.

Has anyone seen any follow up from this story to see how things are progressing?
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  #15  
May 12th, 2012, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
That's the part that confuses me. At every high school I've gone to, being in one sport or activity doesn't release you from following the date guidelines of other sports. You're too busy in track season to do baseball? You don't get to do baseball. Lots of sports seasons overlap and the kids have to choose 1 sport if they can't figure out a way to make both work.

Has anyone seen any follow up from this story to see how things are progressing?
Here, tryouts either happen after the other sports season is over, or players are allowed to try-out even when the other sport is going on, probably to avoid problems like this.
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  #16  
May 12th, 2012, 05:33 PM
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I couldn't find any updates, just different articles that say the same thing.

I called a friend of mine who has been teaching school a while and she said most schools have a rule if you are playing one sport, you can't try out for another. Most school districts have to have an established team to list themselves as a competitor.

So it looks like they snag up the freshmen and sophomores to register the team, then hold a second tryout when the other kids are done their other sport.


IF this is the case... I'd be quite upset with the school too.. but I doubt I'd sue nor think it was a constitutional right.
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  #17  
May 13th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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I haven't experienced that at all. Maybe it's because I live in a small county school district and we wouldn't have enough players if kids from other sports couldn't try-out.
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  #18  
May 13th, 2012, 09:11 AM
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Yeah, I asked this friend specifically because she's been teaching for 31 years and has taught in 9 states (I forget how many schools, 11 or 12 I think), both rural and city schools. She said not all are like this, but just from her experience (and with her kids too) the majority of her schools have been like the one in the article.

I didn't play sports in high school. We have 3 schools that combine to one, each with an awesome team for each sports... I might have been top 5 worthy in my school,. but wasn't for high school. lol. But I know the 1 sport at a time rule applied there. But they started soccer in August before school even started so that way games could start as soon into the year as possible, then Basket ball tryouts were the week after soccer (with non mandatory practices in the evenings for the last 2 weeks of October). We didn't have foot ball, city schools do though.
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  #19  
May 13th, 2012, 01:26 PM
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None of the schools anywhere near here have a 1 sport rule. None of the schools anywhere near where I grew up did either. In fact, I've never heard of one that did, lol. I can't picture it being a very beneficial rule in a lot of schools.

Of course the high school I actually went to couldn't possibly have a rule like that with only 300 kids between 7th and 12 grade, lol. It would be an absurd rule. We had way less sports than most other schools as well, so we'd have even less sports if people couldn't play more than one.
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  #20  
May 13th, 2012, 06:12 PM
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I don't recall the rules for when I was in school. I just asked T and her school does try outs at the end of the year for the following year. A kid can try out for multiple teams and can even be accepted onto multiple teams, the kid just has to make sure that those two sports don't practice and play on the same day.
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