Sports clubs upset with no pass-no play rule - Quad-Cities Online: Regional

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Sports clubs upset with no pass-no play rule

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Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 1998 1:00 am

EDGINGTON -- Rockridge school district residents want to know if elementary students really should be subjected to the same no pass-no play rules as junior high and high school students.

During a school board meeting Monday night, presidents of the elementary basketball, football and wrestling boards said their programs are independent organizations that just use Rockridge buildings. They are concerned about a state-mandated policy, passed by the school board last month, that leaves students receiving a failing grade ineligible to participate in sports programs.

The presidents argued that some students playing on district elementary teams don't attend Rockridge schools, and asked how they can enforce the policy on those players.

Dewayne Dusenberry, past president of the football board, compared the teams to belonging to the YMCA. ``School sponsored activities do not include everything that happens on school properties,'' he said.

He also argued that applying the policy to a third-grader isn't the same as applying it to a high school student. Because of his or her age, a third-grader may have a harder time dealing with with self-esteem issues, receiving a failing grade and being unable to play sports than an older student, Mr. Dusenberry said, adding that the policy may do more harm than good.

Mel Blaser, the current football board president, said because the groups are not school organizations he is concerned about privacy issues. ``I don't want to be sued for not letting a child play,'' he said.

``We recognize that there are flaws and we need to work through them,'' said superintendent Dick Stoltz, but added that if teams are using the school facilities, the school does have some role in their policies.

Both the school board and the elementary sports board presidents agreed that further discussion is needed, but didn't set a specific meeting date to help resolve the matter.

In other business the board:

-- Approved the 1998-99 school year budget, which lists estimated revenues of $8,101,600 and estimated expenditures of $8,419,898. By fund, expenditures include $6,336,850 for education; $609,600 for operations and maintenance; $630,448 for transportation; $403,000 for bonds and interest; $250,000 for Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and Social Security contributions; and $190,000 for fire prevention and safety.

Mr. Stoltz said the deficit budget will be offset by carryover balances from last year. Rockridge's 1997-98 budget included revenues of $8,107,350 and expenditures of $8,502,738.

-- Agreed to survey district parents of their interest in a before- and after-school child care program.

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