In a decision that could have far-reaching consequences, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has rejected a waiver request by the Chicago Public League for continued participation in high school sports until the Chicago Teachers Strike is resolved. Football programs would suffer the most if the strike is protracted because teams must play a minimum of five games in order to be
nine-game schedule to be included in the seeding for the IHSA State Playoffs. Football, unlike other high school sports, do not have an "automatic entry" into the state playoffs. And given the fact that a 5-4 won-lost record generally puts a team onto the "playoff bubble list," it is imperative they not miss playing their scheduled games.
In addition to the playing of games, there are rules regarding mandatory practices before a team can even play. As a result, some coaches have already made provisions to conduct practices throughout the strike, but I doubt every school will do so given the issue of safety and liability. There must be "certified" coaches present as well as student participants requiring medical and parental clearance before the IHSA would even consider approving practice sessions during the strike.
As such, any team that terminates practices for a period of at least seven days, but less than fourteen may not resume play until there has been a minimum of three separate days of training. In the event that a team terminates practice for more than fourteen days, then the number of practices rises to five training sessions before resuming competitive play.
Now I am sure that there are those who believe that CPS teams weaken the state playoffs, but denying them the right to compete would be a tragedy in more ways than one. First of all, many schools are in impoverished areas and participation in sports is often the one thing that brings a sense of normalcy to these kids. Violence has increased exponentially and the thought of kids being anywhere but in school could be a dangerous situation.
Of course, teachers in the city have been stiffed time and time again by the Chicago School Board and at some point a message must sent to the political hires that teachers deserve job security and fair labor practices. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called this strike one of choice - but I hardly doubt that is the case. Besides choice is a two-way street.
In the meantime, Chicago students and student-athletes are being left behind the eight-ball and the powers that be better be mindful as to what the total impact of that will be. The Chicago School Board must stop being subservient to the whims of the political apparatus former Mayor Daley has installed. Maybe if the CPS were actually administrated by career educators as opposed to political hacks and appointees, the system would be far better than what it has turned into - a friggin' joke!
But make no bones about it - keeping kids out of school for any length of time is no joke! And the way I see it Mister Mayor -
the choices here are more yours than theirs!
Quit being like the old boss!
Tags: Chicago, Chicago Public League Football, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago School Board, Chicago Teachers Strike, High School Sports, IHSA, Illinois High School Association, Labor, Labor Strike, News and Opinion, Politics, Rahm Emanuel, Sports