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Say What 3.29.2006

By Rick Racela

I’m a new driver, so it is my, should I say, privilege, to drive every chance that I get.
About a week ago, I was driving my mother’s car, heading towards the post office to get the mail before it closed. When my mother handed me an envelope with the Cape May Technical High School logo in the left hand corner, I put the car in park to tear it open. I was absolutely shocked at what I read.
Middle Township High School is “withdrawing” its services to Cape May Tech; that is, in the past, students at Tech who desired to play a sport not offered by the school could compete in that sport for their sending district.
Since Cape May Tech is smaller, and still growing in enrollment, we do not have athletic programs such as lacrosse, field hockey, tennis, football, and track and field. Middle Township High School, without supplying stated reasons for doing so, has retracted its allowance of Cape May County Technical High School student athletes to participate in their athletic programs.
This is, not to mention offending to those athletes who attend the technical school in hopes of pursuing a further education, extremely unfair.
I did, at one point, show an  interest in the sport of track and field, and since I live in the district zoned by Middle Township, I would have been a possible runner for their team.
Each household pays taxes to Middle Township. We are easily within district lines.
In cases of emergency, Middle Township Police Department replies to our needs. How can Middle Township High School refuse to allow student athletes from a school to which they are sending students half day to participate in athletic programs that we may not have the privilege of enjoying?
The reason I did not apply to run track and field for Middle Township this year was the result of a basketball injury in February. But, if I had indeed intended to run, I would not have been permitted by the new decision passed by the Middle Township Board of Education a few weeks ago.
I don’t think the school board at Middle has the right to withdraw such services. They don’t receive an overabundance of athletes from Tech; they most likely have less then 20 all together, so it’s not an issue of overpopulated teams.
In fact, Middle’s rate of enrollment has decreased, as Tech’s is steadily increasing. The students choose to go to Tech because of the opportunity offered; the amounts of advanced and technological classes are appealing to the academically interested student, and for those who choose a trade area, there are over twenty one to offer.
But the students should not be penalized athletically for wanting to advance academically and technically at a different area school; Cape May Tech is located on Crest Haven Road in Court House – that is in Middle Township.
Even if this new exclusionary rule doesn’t affect me directly, it affects the school in general. It’s unfair to student athletes wishing to excel in an area not directly offered by their school; they have the right to enjoy the sport regardless of the jersey they wear.
Maybe the Middle Township Board of Education should consider the students this affects, and the way they are making themselves look to others; a people not concerned about the personal satisfaction of their residents.

Spout Off

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