Du­laney ath­letes treated un­fairly

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Kara Bolonda, Ti­mo­nium

I just read your ar­ti­cle about how the heat clo­sures are af­fect­ing ath­let­ics in Bal­ti­more and Bal­ti­more County (“Heat wipes out Fri­day games for all city, some county schools,” Sept. 8). There is an im­por­tant fact that has yet to be re­ported: the Bal­ti­more County heat clo­sure pol­icy does not re­quire can­cel­la­tion of af­ter­school ac­tiv­i­ties, prac­tices or games when schools with­out air con­di­tion­ing are closed due to heat. That de­ci­sion is oc­cur­ring solely at the dis­cre­tion of Su­per­in­ten­dent Dal­las Dance and, frankly, makes no sense what­so­ever.

On Thurs­day, Du­laney High School had 13 teams whose prac­tices were can­celed, five whose games were can­celed (some at schools with air con­di­tion­ing and some out­side the county) and yet 21 other county high schools held prac­tices and com­peted in the very heat that shut Du­laney’s ath­let­ics down.

Prac­tices do not oc­cur in air con­di­tion­ing, and for­bid­ding schools with­out AC to carry on with af­ter-school out­door prac­tices only puts stu­dent ath­letes from these schools at an even greater dis­ad­van­tage. Now, these kids have fewer days to prac­tice and com­pete, which puts them at higher risk of in­jury and makes it even more dif­fi­cult for them to achieve their ath­letic goals for the sea­son.

Mr. Dance has re­fused to re­spond to count­less in­quiries by par­ents, stu­dents, coaches and ad­min­is­tra­tors. His own of­fice of ath­let­ics and the Bal­ti­more County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion do not agree with this de­ci­sion. All he has to do is what the heat clo­sure pol­icy al­lows him to do — close the un­safe, hot school build­ings but al­low the out­door ac­tiv­i­ties to carry on, the same as the other 21high schools with air con­di­tion­ing are per­mit­ted to do.

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