Athletic code review to precede any changes

"People who want changes to the South Whidbey High School athletic code will just have to wait.“We certainly had a lot of people who brought us concerns,” Superintendent Dr. Lisa Bjork said at last week’s school board meeting. She was alluding to the November meeting when more than 50 community members asked for changes in the code.Some speakers at the November meeting wanted the code to be less strict. Code violators should be given three chances before being removed from a team, they said, rather than the present two chances.Others complained about how the code is enforced, likening questioning of students to the Inquisition or to a police grilling without an attorney present.But demands for immediate action on the code cannot be met, according to Bjork. She noted that 18 months were spent working on the existing code, which was adopted last spring, and she emphasized that that code “will be enforced.”At present, Bjork said, data is being collected on how the code is being implemented, and staff is reviewing the code. “We’ll bring the completed staff review to the board,” she said. “I’d like to not put a date on it.”Audience member Dan Baker asked for a better time approximation, and Bjork responded that the staff review would take about two months. “It can happen quicker, but I don’t want to promise,” she said. “All possible speed ahead is what we are doing.”Board member Barbara Schneeman also emphasized that the present code is being enforced during the review. “That’s the policy we are currently following for safety, drug education, and setting standards for privileges,” she said.In another athletics policy matter, parent Denise Perkins, a former school board member, complained that her son was removed from the JV basketball team for going on vacation with his family without the coach’s permission. She compared his situation to that of an athletic code violator who gets to stay with the team, but not compete interscholastically, after a first offense.Bjork noted that Perkins is “still in a continuing dialogue” with school officials about the situation, and suggested that Perkins request an executive session so the matter can be discussed with the school board in private."

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