Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Education

Pasco schools athletic transfer policy won't change

LAND O'LAKES — Pasco County student-athletes who change high schools still will need to win permission to play sports after their move.

The Pasco School Board on Tuesday rejected an effort to ease its year-old policy that forces transfers to sit out a year unless a committee grants the students a waiver. Vice chairman Steve Luikart argued forcefully for a change, calling the rule "subjective" and "inconsistent."

"We have a chance to correct something," Luikart said, calling for his colleagues to suspend the guidelines pending revisions to the definitions and procedures. "We need to take advantage of it."

Other than agreeing to "tweaks," though, the full board refused to sideline the policy that Florida High School Athletic Association leaders deemed a state model.

"While I think there may be some deficiencies in the process, I am not sure it's the policy that is deficient," board member Joanne Hurley said. "I am willing to allow the superintendent to change procedures and see if they work."

She and others stressed the need to ensure that students receive fair and equal treatment under the rule. That means more than just the person seeking to play.

"It's not just that one child. We have to consider the school, the whole team," board member Cynthia Armstrong said.

Armstrong noted the desire to avoid having teams face forfeits and fines because of eligibility problems that the review process might have rooted out.

"No matter what we do it's never going to be perfect," she said. "We have to do the best that we can."

At the same time, the board made clear it does not want to hear appeals from parents and students, leaving final participation decisions in the superintendent's hands.

Superintendent Kurt Browning acknowledged the need to make refinements, but he suggested that overall the policy was working as intended.

Luikart, though unable to win the major overhaul he sought, remained unbowed even as he gave up the fight.

"It's nice to sit in this room where everything is hunky-dory and everyone is in line. That's not what I hear out there" in the community, Luikart said. "I will continue to be a voice for them. … That's it. I am done."

Board members asked Browning to report back on any procedural changes he implements. Meanwhile, FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing told the board that this discussion led to an anonymous complaint about the handling of transfers between Pasco and Hernando schools, which his office will investigate.

Contact Jeffrey S. Solochek at [email protected] or (813) 909-4614. Follow @jeffsolochek.

Comments
Eckerd College student critically injured in campus accident just before graduation

Eckerd College student critically injured in campus accident just before graduation

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College student fell from a ladder on campus in the hours before her graduation ceremony and remained hospitalized Wednesday with head injuries.Chicago native Rebecca Ryan Lavin-Burgher, known as Becca on campus and RyRy to...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

TAMPA -- Teachers in Hillsborough County came closer on Wednesday to reaching an agreement with the school district that would give them most, but not all of the pay they expected this past year.The deal, if it happens, will end a year-long conflict ...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

NEW PORT RICHEY — The line snaked through the hallways and into the cafeteria, as the Ridgewood High faithful waited for their chance to secure a piece of the school’s 40-year history.They came by the hundreds — current and former students, staff and...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

TAMPA — The pain of the Parkland shootings Feb. 14 was fresh on the minds of Hillsborough County’s graduating seniors when about 300 of them received an assignment. Write a 250-word essay on how decades of school shootings have touched y...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

WEEKI WACHEE — A 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday on allegations that she created a fake social media post threatening to shoot students at Weeki Wachee High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said the 16-year-old told...
Published: 05/22/18
Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District and its teachers’ union moved closer to resolving their salary dispute during Monday’s negotiating session — but stopped short of reaching an agreement.The teachers, who have spent this school year work...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18
Parents score victory in effort to make travel safer for Westchase students

Parents score victory in effort to make travel safer for Westchase students

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school leaders call it courtesy busing, but to Lauren Hawkins it’s more a matter of life and death.More students living close to their schools in the Westchase community used the Hillsborough school district’s courtesy bus...
Published: 05/21/18
Eckerd College hosts a royal celebration of its own

Eckerd College hosts a royal celebration of its own

A day after England’s royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, St. Petersburg hosted a royal celebration of its own. Among the estimated 500 graduates to receive an Eckerd College diploma at Sunday’s graduation ceremony held...
Published: 05/20/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Hooper: SEL lends a solution to the increasingly toxic world of kids

An incident recently arose between students at Jesuit High School and Academy of the Holy Names that involved allegations of cyberbullying, homophobia, misogyny and assault.It only involved a fraction of the students at two of Tampa’s most prestigiou...
Updated: 1 hour ago
At vigil, another school mourns: ‘It is hope in the face of tragedy that brings us together today.’

At vigil, another school mourns: ‘It is hope in the face of tragedy that brings us together today.’

SANTA FE, Texas - They gathered here by the dozens Friday evening, wearing their school colors, T-shirts that said "Texas Tough," while huddling under the shade of a gaggle of pine trees, not 11 hours after the first shots were fired.They came to pra...
Published: 05/19/18