To the editor:
I would like to respond to the article discussing how IEPs (individualized education plans) cannot cover sports participation. I am a teacher and coach and have had many athletes who fit this criteria. I will steadfastly support the fact that students who are engaged in school activities are typically more successful in school. However, I do not feel that KSHSAA should allow students who do not meet the academic requirements to participate in competition.
Passing five classes per semester is not a strict academic requirement. Even if the student has emotional or behavioral issues, they should have the necessary modifications included in their IEP so that they can succeed academically. I am not sure that KSHSAA relaxing their standards for special needs students is the answer. If the student is unable to pass five classes each semester, possibly the IEP is not doing its intended job.
What about graduation? If students do not pass their required courses, they will not graduate. As a teacher, I am much more concerned about the student graduating from high school than whether they can compete in athletics. Both are important, and the student, family and school need to work together to help the young person achieve academic success so they are able to participate and compete in the sports they enjoy.