Spirit Leaders Earned the Trip, and Many Athletes Miss Lots of Class Time

Dear Editor,

I was outraged when I learned of the Gilroy Unified School District Board decision to deny the Gilroy High School spirit leaders a once-in-a-lifetime trip they have earned.

These girls are more dedicated than any other high school team. Their season begins in May and continues through March. Their dedication and contributions to GHS many times go unnoticed.

They are leaders and high academic achievers. I have yet to see one of them take athletic training during summer school in order to boost their grade point average to meet the 2.0 requirement in order to be eligible for fall, unlike many other fall athletes. Among the 11 of them, their combined GPA is a respectable 3.40. Imagine that, charisma, responsibility, dedication, intelligence and respect all rolled up into one small varsity squad that has never faltered.

The question I pose to the board is: Why are you treating the spirit leaders differently than other athletes? Please look at the following release schedule for athletes.

For the month of September the following athletes lost instructional time:

n Girls golf, 223 minutes of 5th period

n Tennis, 76 minutes of 5th period

n Volleyball, 76 minutes of 5th period

n Frosh football, 53 minutes of 5th period and 288 minutes of 6th period

n Field hockey, 196 minutes of 5th period

For the first week of October:

n Girls golf, 108 minutes of 5th period

n Girls water polo, 108 minutes of 5th period

n Field hockey, 196 minutes of 5th period

n Boys water polo, 63 minutes of 5th period

If you think that instructional time is so valuable, can you explain why other sports are missing such an outrageous amount of classroom time? And the seasons are not over yet.

Finally, to imply that these three days out of the classroom are just for pleasure sure is a slap in the face. Not only will these students be required to practice, and give a flawless performance in a nationally televised football game, they will be ambassadors of Gilroy.

From my understanding of what you perceive as educational, visiting the Pearl Harbor memorial must not be on your list. The powerful emotions and breathtaking sites of a national memorial where so many of America?s young men shed their blood to protect the freedom and rights of their children and their children?s children, only to have elected officials deny such rights! Ask any teacher, children do not learn in classrooms alone, the world is their classroom. Don?t condemn these students to a GUSD classroom, send them to Honolulu, let them experience the world.

Sus Smith, Gilroy