Parents Concerned About Future of Middle School Sports in Barbou - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Parents Concerned About Future of Middle School Sports in Barbour Co.

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BELINGTON -

Barbour County residents recently learned that the board of education might cut middle school sports programs after voters rejected a proposed school bond and excess levy last November.  

Now, parents are worried about the fate of these after-school sports programs.

Dozens of parents voiced their opinions at a meeting on Thursday night to see what they can do to keep middle school sports in Barbour County.

"My son is involved in three different sports," said parent Courtney Whited. "He does sports year-round. They help him keep his grades up, they give him a foundation to build friendships, teamwork, build character, how to work together."

Parent Buffie Brewer agrees with Whited. She thinks it's more than just the kids being able to play sports.

"My biggest issue is grades because a lot of these kids, that's the only reason they have the grades that they do. They know that they have to work for something to be able to play the sports and everything," said Brewer.

Parents at the meeting tried to figure out what would be the best way to raise the $32,000 that would allow the schools to continue having sports programs.

"We're willing to do whatever kind of fundraising it takes," said Whited. "Whether we go door-to-door asking businesses, soliciting other parents, paying fees...whatever it takes, we will do."

"I don't think there's a cap on how much money I would put into my children," said parent Eddy Poling. "And, for that matter, into other people's kids, if I have it. I'd much rather do that."

Most of the parents came with ideas, which included starting an alumni fund and a "pay to play" program. The idea behind this is a yearly fee for each student participating in sports activities.

Parents stressed that they are not trying to blame the board of education.

"We want to work together with the board. We don't want to go up against the board and protest or yell at them," said Whited. "We just want to work together to make the best decisions for our youth."

"We want solutions. We do not want blame, we're not going to blame them," said parent Dion Wagoner. "Everyone knows the pros of having sports and the cons of not having sports. Our goal is to find a solution that will work for everybody."

School officials didn't attend Thursday's meeting, but Superintendent Joe Super did talk about the matter earlier in the day.

Super said he'll look at several school programs, both academic and non-academic, to see what can be done to help schools throughout the county.

"I encourage people to exercise their rights as citizens. They're taxpayers. Every board meeting, there's a time for delegations at the beginning of the meeting, and I would welcome people if they had concerns with the direction of our school system," said Super.

The parents are going to choose representatives to speak at the board of education meeting on Monday, January 14.  They are also encouraging anyone who wants to support their cause to attend.