The student member of the State Board of Education says debate of the rule given final approval Thursday to require athletes to pass all of their classes already has had an impact on students. Tara Richards, a senior at Indianola High School, says students at her school and others are aware it’s a very important issue after hearing about it, and she says they’re going to try harder to get better grades.
Some raised concerns the rule would be more of a punishment than an incentive to get better grades — but Richards says it’s not all that bad to give students a punishment as incentive. She says students respond to incentives, whether it’s testing or athletics. Richards says they will respond and try and she says students who see their friends sitting out will try harder.
Richards says there will be some peer pressure from the new rule, which she says will also give kids incentives to work harder in the classroom. She says, “They’re hurting the team when they ineligible,” and she says they’ll work harder so it doesn’t happen. The board while requiring students to pass all their classes, did modify the rule to require students to have a passing grade at the end of the semester, instead of checking grades every four weeks. The rule will take effect for sports this fall.