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Kanawha County Fair Play Proposal Benched For Now

Reported by: Send eMail Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Dec. 19, 2013 10:35 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 19, 2013 11:13 PM EST

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Fair Play Proposal
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Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

A Kanawha County School Board proposal that had a lot of people speaking out has been benched, at least for now. Middle school teams would have been required to put every player in the game but the proposal.

In sports, there have to be winning teams and losing teams, and coaches like J.D. Lambert, who is an assistant at South Charleston Middle School, say that's a valuable lesson that student athletes learn.

“I want my kids prepared for the future and not to think that everything is handed to them,” he said.

But Kanawha County School Board member Becky Jordon recently introduced a proposal for "Fair Playing Time" for all middle school athletes, not equal playing time, but giving every child an opportunity to get in the game.

Jordon said she doesn't want the individual students losing out.

“Don't bench a child game after game because, if you do that, they won't want to attempt it in high school,” she said.

For Lambert, he said students have to learn about the value of working hard, overcoming obstacles and that life isn't always fair.

“I think it sends a bad message to our student athletes,” he said. “I don't think we would do that in the classroom, we wouldn't give every student A's just for showing up.”

Jordon said she tabling the idea for now, but she thinks she's gotten the attention of coaches to put in every player. She said the superintendent has met with principals and coaches to do just that.

"I think this has been a wake-up call to our middle school administrators and to our coaches and if it's not followed then I will ask for it to be a policy and we won't hire coaches who don't treat kids fairly," Jordon said.

Jordon said she introduced the idea after getting complaints from parents.



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