‘It takes a whole county’

Rappahannock News - - COMMENT -

An open let­ter to the Ad­min­is­tra­tors and Ath­letic De­part­ment at RCPS:

For years com­mu­nity mem­bers and par­ents have worked hard to build suc­cess­ful pro­grams in our school sys­tem. We hired knowl­edge­able coaches and vol­un­teers, we put on and spon­sored clin­ics and camps dur­ing the sum­mer. We raised thou­sands of dol­lars for im­prove­ments to fields and fa­cil­i­ties. To walk into the high school gym and see the lack of sup­port shown, not only by the staff but also the stu­dent body, to the de­fend­ing state cham­pion volleyball team was ap­palling.

To talk to a bas­ket­ball player and for him to tell me that one-half of the bas­ket­ball team is not com­ing out to play is ex­tremely dis­heart­en­ing. To talk to a wrestler, who was in tears, be­cause some­one was hired that is nowhere near qual­i­fied to coach a var­sity team over many highly qual­i­fied ap­pli­cants, breaks my heart.

Why aren’t these stu­dents com­ing out to play a sport that they have played for years? Who is to blame for that? Why aren’t the ad­min­is­tra­tors do­ing their job? It is the ath­letic di­rec­tor’s job, to vet and put forth highly qual­i­fied in­di­vid­u­als, to work with these chil­dren. It is his job to in­still school pride and spirit. Is it the lack of knowl­edge by the ad­min­is­tra­tors in who they are hir­ing to coach?

In my opin­ion, the lack of com­mu­nity at­ten­dance to the events, is the lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion by the ath­letic de­part­ment. It is the lack of school spirit shown in the build­ing by the staff. Hir­ing peo­ple just be­cause they are al­ready on staff is not the an­swer. You have to know the sport, you have to en­gage the chil­dren, you have to be in the build­ing or want to come to the build­ing and re­cruit kids to play for you. You just can’t be there be­cause you want to coach your kids or your grand­chil­dren. That is not what builds a pro­gram, it tears it down and we have seen it hap­pen be­fore.

Rais­ing and teach­ing our chil­dren is a coun­ty­wide re­spon­si­bil­ity. The old say­ing it takes a vil­lage, well to me it takes a whole county. RCPS you need to wake up be­fore it is too late!! We do not have enough kids to have the mass ex­o­dus we had be­fore be­cause of poor choices.

AMY HITT Amissville

The writer is a for­mer mem­ber of the Rap­pa­han­nock County School Board, rep­re­sent­ing the Jack­son District.

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