Editorials and Opinions

Opposing Viewpoint: Let my athletes go

By Denebola
Published: September 2007

By Tessa Ellis

For most of my middle school and high school career I can recall announcements coming over the PA dismissing the athletic teams anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes early.

I can also remember the groans from all the non-athletes in the class who knew that they had to sit there and wait until school actually ended. I’ve participated in athletic teams on and off for my whole life, and I remember the first day I got dismissed early. It was great. I was so out of there.

All of my classmates, however, were significantly less enthusiastic.

My teacher was not at all thrilled that I had disrupted his class and he had to stop his lesson to give me handouts and instructions on what I’d be missing.

Being an athlete, I can see both sides of this story. Even though some kids see early dismissals as special treatment, they’re really not.

When students get released before the end of class, it is not because they are getting an extra free block or going to fool around for half an hour. It’s because they have an away game and they would not be able to make it on time without those ten minutes to run to the locker room and get dressed.

Most people can’t even imagine the commitment it takes to be a student-athlete.

For months at a time you come home exhausted and with just as much work as your peers who don’t participate in athletics.

The problem is that you only have half the time. You miss some of class and by the time you get home, you’re so tired that you don’t feel like doing any work.

For the few winter athletes who participate in outdoor sports, early dismissal is essential.

The remaining sunlight constitutes the time frame in which an event can take place. If winter athletes are not let out early it is neither safe nor possible to have the desired event an event.

Early dismissal lets you get to your game quicker and thus get home quicker, so you can do your schoolwork earlier. Athletes need to be dismissed early for away games.

It’s almost like an unspoken compromise. You let me go early so I can get home at a reasonable hour to do the work you’ve assigned me. Even though I’ll miss some of your class, I can get the work done.

Early dismissal for athletes has been going on for years and hopefully now it’s easier for teachers to understand why we get to do it.

As for the kids not dismissed early for sports, you’ll be home in the next half hour, so stop complaining.

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