CAMDEN — During a meeting on Thursday, July 13, the Preble Shawnee Board of Education decided not to review their athletic code of conduct.
According to Superintendent Matt Bishop, he was asked to review the subject with the board.
“If a student is caught doing something inappropriate, whether it be tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, and they’re an athlete — there are consequences to that,” Bishop said. “Right now, they are removed from the team. There’s not a first chance or modification to that. You do the crime, you do the time. Someone has requested us looking at that, to see if there needs to be another step in there, if you will, for a first time or if we can modify that in anyway. Should we modify it compared to someone smoking a cigarette to someone drinking a beer, different from someone taking drugs.”
He provided the board with policies from different schools, most of which have a warning offense, before the second offense, which then would remove them from the team. Some schools allow students to have three offenses.
Bishop added, “I’m not thinking we would make a change two weeks before starting the season, but I guess if the board is interested in having a discussion about it, I would recommend that we get students, maybe the Boosters, Student Council, some parents — and look at the policy, look at what other schools did, and see if there is interest in making a change.”
The athletes sign a document that says they received the athletic handbook, which includes the code of conduct. According to Bishop, every athlete knows what they are not permitted to do.
Most of the board responded that they didn’t have an issue with the way the code of conduct was and had no interest in reviewing it.
“I’m kind of a, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ sort of person,” Bishop said. “There’s not a huge number of incidents happening at Preble Shawnee. I don’t think there’s something that’s glaringly causing us to address this.”
Board member Jeff Wood added, “I tend to agree, but playing devil’s advocate here, the only thing I worry about is, for some kids, sports is their reprieve from a bad situation sometimes. Kids make mistakes and sometimes I worry that if kids aren’t in after-school activities, then maybe they’ll do worse things.”
Bishop further explained that the policy is a “quick strike,” but the students are only out for the season. So, if a football player is caught smoking, he’s out for the season, but he can play basketball still. When the students are out for the season, they cannot even use the weight room. They are completely banned from sports for that season.
“What I can see happening is, if we went and looked at this policy and started having these discussions with parents and students, I can see a more strict policy on the other end,” Bishop said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH