North Clay Board Returns to Old Athletic Policy

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Published on December 24 2013 3:07 pm
Last Updated on December 24 2013 3:10 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

After more than 3-1/2 hours of discussion and debate and seven motions, the North Clay Board of Education Monday voted to repeal the athletic policy that was enacted earlier this semester and return to the policy that had previously been in effect.

The furor began after an incident in August that reportedly involved a party and some student athletes that would have been suspended under the athletic policy that was on the books at that time.  The Board subsequently voted to amend the athletic policy and that's when members of the public began attending Board meetings to protest the changes.

A deadline of this past Friday had been set to sign the revised athletic policy but more than 50 student athletes and parents did not sign.  That led to Monday night's meeting to discuss what to do.

Several of the 100 people in attendance asked why the policy had been changed and hinted that a child of a Board member being present at the August party led to the change.  Former North Clay coach Billy Coble suggested that the Board member whose child was at the party engaging in the discussions could be a conflict of interest and thus a legal matter.

At one point, Board member Cecil Cochran said he'd like to know how many players would still be on the team for North Clay at the Dieterich Holiday Tournament before he voted.  After getting the numbers, the discussion continued.  One North Clay cheerleader stood up and said that she was not going to sign the new policy, that she was going to cheer at the tournament, and contended that someone would have to come out and drag her off the court if they wanted her to stop.

There was discussion of extending the matter six months to get beyond the school year and then revisit the issue.  Superintendent Monty Aldrich reminded that without the signatures of the more than 50 students and their parents, the new policy could not be enforced.

A motion was made to continue the matter to the January meeting and delay requests for signatures on the policy until that time.  There were then questions raised as to the legality of such a move.  The motion passed, but a subsequent motion was made to repeal the motion and that motion passed.  

A motion was then approved to repeal the new athletic policy, meaning the signatures that had already been obtained for the previous policy would be valid.  That motion passed 4-0 with members Worthey and Cochran abstaining.  Board member Ballard was not present for any of the discussion, having read a statement at the beginning of the meeting on his views regarding the changing of the athletic policy and how he and his family had been treated.  Ballard then left the meeting.

Bottom line, as of Monday night's meeting, the former athletic policy that was adopted 2-1/2 years ago is again in effect  No parent or guardian has to sign again if they had signed previously.  Only student athletes and families who have not previously signed the original policy in effect at the start of the school year need to sign that original policy.