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Failure is no option

April 18, 2012
When considering change to the student-athlete athletic/academic requirements, the movie "Coach Carter" should be mandatory viewing for the Chicopee School Committee, along with any coaches favoring allowing student-athletes to fail even a single course. The movie takes on the question: which is more important, athletic ac-complishment or academic achievement at the high school level? It  portrays a true story of a coach who did not accept a system designed to fail. Or support failure in its student-athletes.
As Coach Ken Carter pointed out, athletic skills erode, but education does not. He cared about the concept of a student-athlete and had a much higher standard for his players than did his school board. 
Chicopee should adopt a true "failure is not an option" policy for high school athletes just as coach Carter did. Anything less than a passing grade in all courses sends the wrong message and does not prepare Chicopee's student-athletes for life after high school.  The purpose of school is education, and later in life, students will thank them for stricter sports participation rules.
Jim Rascilla
Chicopee
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