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Education Matters: Bring back after-school sports

August 20, 2010|By Dan Kimber

Editor's Note: Numerous instances of plagiarism have been discovered in Dan Kimber’s “Education Matters” column, which ran in the News- Press from September 2003 to September 2011. In those columns where plagiarism has been found, a For the Record specifying the details will be appended to the piece.

I don't usually respond to letters written to this paper, but I'm going to make an exception here because it allows me to follow up on a suggestion I made in last week's column and comment further on a subject that has been simmering in my mind for years.

Vic Bedrossian, a highly respected and very involved parent in the Hoover High School community, disagreed with my suggestion that we dump football from our sports program, and also took umbrage at my bemoaning the lack of spirit at our school.

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First of all, my perspective comes from working at the same place day in and day out for 30 years, not visiting it occasionally for the last four years. It also comes from the students, who complain annually about an indifferent, disengaged student body.

It's easy enough to dismiss the views of a stodgy, retiring teacher pining away for the old days, but that is simply not the case. I teach mostly advanced placement kids and they are the ones most active in the school's activities. Unfortunately, they constitute a shrinking core of spirited, involved students.

Yes indeed, our Pep Squad is still peppy, as is our drill team and our cheer leading squads, but they are in a distinct minority when considering the entire school's population. BGD (Beat Glendale Day), once upon a time, energized an entire student body and had Hoover's auditorium shaking at its foundations with cheering and yelling and competition between the grade levels. Now it is reduced to a "voluntary assembly" that involves only a small fraction of Hoover students.

Bedrossian is a Hoover High parent and is perhaps viewing the school through the rose-colored experience of his own children, who were/are spectacular additions to Hoover — I know because I taught two of them. However, I would still submit that they are a rare breed these days, as is the entire Bedrossian family, which is actively engaged in their children's schools.

The number of people at one football game, Hoover vs. Glendale, is the only game that is well attended all season. One look into the stands at all other home games reveals a smattering of supporters usually outnumbered by the members of the Hoover band.

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