School and sports

From time to time there are scholarly discussions and even heated arguments about the emphasis on academics and on sports in our public schools.

These debates frequently conclude that the study of science and history and math and literature should take precedence over competitive activities.

Without any intent to reignite this debate, let it be said simply that there are important lessons to be learned from sports, just as there are from all of the other courses and extracurricular activities to which students are exposed. Real life involves competition and teamwork.

The guidance that comes from good coaching and the dedication of students to sports produces good qualities that last a lifetime.

So it is good to see that students at the Alternative Education Center will be permitted to participate in school sports, if they meet academic and citizenship requirements. The Alternative Education Center serves more than 100 students in the Cape Girardeau School District who, for one reason or another, do better in that setting than in regular classrooms.

While there has never been a formal policy that kept Alternative Education Students out of sports, it has been the practice since the school was started 13 years ago. Now administrators are not only allowing students to participate, but also encouraging them to do so.