Thursday, March 10, 2011

More bullying in Louisville

This time, the school district is joining in

The Courier-Journal reports that a former student at the highly competitive DuPont Manual High School, who left there after she was bullied, is now being denied sports eligibility in her new school.

Normally, it is true that transfers must sit out of sports for a year.

What makes this story remarkable is that the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) already granted this student a waiver from that rule because of the bullying. The KHSAA determined that the transfer was not to get some sort of player advantage but was due to the coaches at DuPont Manual failing to control bullying on the team.

Now, in what starts to look like a piling on situation, the Jefferson County Public School District says it has its own rules, and the student can’t play regardless of the KHSAA ruling.

What might put a big stink in all of this is that the student’s lawyer says the school district would allow the student to play if she transferred to a school the district wants her to attend. Instead, exercising school choice, this obviously intelligent student is going to Ballard High School, and it’s hard to blame her. The district wants to send her to either Seneca High or another, unidentified school that “has been labeled a failing school.” That probably means one of the Persistently Low-Achieving Schools, which abound in Louisville.

Not that Seneca is any prize. When I did the “How Whites and Blacks Perform in Jefferson County Public Schools” report a few years ago, Seneca had some pretty grim graduation rate statistics.

More recently, Seneca High’s rather low ranking for ACT Composite Scores in Kentucky-wide testing of 11th grade students in 2010 (tied for 157 out of 228 high schools that had scores reported) shows this would be an unlikely place smart students would chose to attend. The ACT Benchmark Scores indicate only 17 percent of the students at Seneca scored high enough on the ACT math assessment to be on track for college.

Ballard High, by the way, ranked 23rd in the state in 2010 for its ACT Composite Score in the same grade 11 testing program.

I think one of the reader comments to this article summed the situation up well. That reader says:

“So she left her school because she was bullied. Now JCPS is bullying her.”

Read more in the Courier article.


Anonymous said...

Teddy Gordon should file an OEA complaint against JCPS. Their athletics manual strips SBDM councils of their authority regarding extracurricular activities. Your next open records request should be for every high school SBDM extracurricular policy.

Richard Innes said...

RE: Anonymous on March 10, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Good point. Can you provide the specific language in the Jefferson County athletics manual?