Athletes take too many early dismissals

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By Elle Fair ’19

 

It’s 1:30 p.m. and the athletes dressed in their blue and white uniforms begin packing up their bags and leaving the classroom right in the middle of a new lesson. With 45 minutes left in the period, athletes are let off the hook and are free to leave school early as they journey to a local high school stadium.

Student athletes are often granted early dismissals when their games or meets take place shortly after school. Yes, sometimes these early dismissals are given for teams with long bus rides to another school, which I understand. However, many of these dismissals are provided so an athlete can get a foot wrapped or even fill a water jug. In my opinion, that can be done after the bell at 2:15 p.m. has rung.

By being excused from an extended amount of class time for sporting events, athletes are missing new information. This causes extra stress and pressure to make it up. Luke Welch ’19 has been a varsity hockey player since his freshman year. He likes leaving school early as it is a nice treat, but he feels extra stress not only to complete his homework, but his classwork that he missed as well.

Not only are athletes missing valuable information from lessons, but they become a disturbance for the rest of their peers. While the sound of the clock ticking can distract students during last period of the school day, packing up books, zipping up backpacks and pushing in chairs can easily disrupt the flow of the lesson and student concentration.

Students are not the only ones impacted by the athletic early dismissals. Teachers also have to find a time where they can re-teach the missed information to the students which similarly leaves a burden on them.

I understand that some sporting events require an early dismissal because of the time it takes to travel, but there is a reason that the word “student” comes before the word “athlete” when you’re a student athlete. In high school, students come to receive an education and learn the skills necessary to be successful in the future. Sporting events, practices and games should come as second priority regardless of the distance or time it takes to travel there.

Once the bell rings, however, athletes should get their game face on.