School events cut into family, church

Tue, 12/23/2008 - 4:20pm
By: Letters to the ...

To the Fayette County Board of Education: My name is Paula Littleton and I am a parent of four and a church youth director here in Fayette County. I am writing out of concern for our students, their families and our church families.

The fact is that during the breaks the students are demanded to be involved in extracurricular activities or they suffer being cut from teams and groups.

If the school system is having breaks so that our students and staff can rest, shouldn’t this also include sports or other activities?

Students aren’t really released from the obligations during breaks. They must continue to go to practices, games, performances, etc.

Because of that being a forced issue, students cannot spend time with their families or with their church groups.

It concerns me greatly that the times that our families and our church families use to spend together are now being crowded out by these schedules that force parents and students to make choices.

It is disheartening to think that we are teaching our students that activities surrounding our church and faith should be in last place.

As I noticed this year and last, more and more the extracurricular activities are beginning to intervene on Sunday’s schedule as well.

The message that you are sending to this generation of students is concerning to those of us that value religious education and fellowship.

I would urge the school board as the policy makers for education in Fayette County to establish a policy that extracurricular activities not be allowed during breaks.

Games, practices and performances can be scheduled prior to each school year’s beginning.

Your mission statement says you want to deliver effective instruction and set high expectations for continued improvement of student achievements. I feel that to want and expect that from students and their families you must allow them time away from just your instruction.

Families, students and churches need time with one another to be healthy, happy, well-rounded, faithful, productive individuals.

Paula Littleton

Youth and Family Ministries Director

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Fayetteville, Ga.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Submitted by TyroneTerror on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 3:21pm.

It is EXTRA activities. Something you or your Child(ren)choose to do. I've had three children go through Fayette schools and all participated in MULTIPLE sports and extracurricular activities. Not once did their participation interfere with Church. As for family time, we used their participation and our enjoyment of supporting them as part of that. Sadly many parents don't share the enthusiasm for their childrens extracurricular activities as my wife and I have.

Practice is most times directly after school during the school year and ends most times by 6pm. Does your church start before 6pm? Wednesday is normally blocked out of game schedules also. In reality there cannot be manadatory practice during the summer for Football, Softball, or Cheerleading before sometime at the end of July or the beginning of August. Sure most teams have a suggested number of "Voluntary" workouts before then and most times there is ample time to make the number and get a vacation in.

Most coaches, whether they are deeply religious or not will respect a players religion and try to accomodate them on anas needed basis if given plenty of notice in advance.

Submitted by iluvthebubble on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 9:07pm.

I think that we as a community should have some agreement about when it's appropriate to schedule kids' sports activities and when it isn't. I don't think scheduling a tournament on Christmas Day or Thanksgiving is a good idea, for example. But for those who are responsible for setting the schedule (FCBOE I guess?), where do we as a community think they should draw the line? I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that they not schedule them on Sunday mornings. I'd love it if they didn't schedule them over the Thanksgiving or Christmas breaks.

Let's not force kids to choose between extracurriculars and family/church if it's not necessary. I realize we all have choices to make in life, but If the FCBOE adopts a policy that school activities won't be held during certain times or dates, then our children won't have to make the difficult choice. I think the Fayette County community generally values both both extra curriculars AND family/church time for our children. So it seems sensible to carve out a bit of time for each so that students do not have to sacrifice one over the other.

By the way, I'm shocked at how angry and personal some of the attacks have been on Paula. She expressed her opinion in a polite and reasonable way--with her name attached. She does not deserve the treatment she's received from some here.

I'd be curious to know what muddle thinks about this!

Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 11:23pm.

Seems to me signing your name as well as your place of employ to your post is EXTRACURRICULAR, meaning when she signed up, at will she signed up for the full ride and all that entails, without reservation of policy...ENJOY THE BUBBLE....

Submitted by FayetteFlyer on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 10:23am.

to your opinion. It's not a good one, but nonetheless you are entitled to it. Choice is the optimum word here and I'm glad folks can still make them.

Submitted by mysteryman on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 7:17pm.

I guess while you were pumping out your 2nd, or 3rd, kid you should of thought of these things, you know theres only 24 hours in a day, lets not take any responsibility for our decisions, i guess you and hubby never made any consideration as to the quality of life of which to provide to the kids you already had, just because the HUMMER seats 8 does not warrant that you should try to fill it up, $2.50 Spent at C.V.S on they way home could have went a long way.. Do not wash your feet without your socks on..GOOD LUCK..

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 8:55pm.

aren't you the arrogant little pissant. I see you didn't get that English book or a dictionary for Christmas.

I yam what I yam....Popeye

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 8:32pm.

Are you trying to tell her that activities that used to avoid Sundays entirely and now have this day as a requirement for participation are not different than the 70's or 80's? It is a new phenomenon (~10 years or less) to have organized games and practices on Sunday morning. I agree that if it conflicts with your life, then don't do it. If every activity causes this conflict on Sundays, then society has changed. Yours and Martinez's post bear proof to that fact. Show me where society has changed for the better and we have better youth as a result.

Most colleges have extra curricular requirements. Mine did. Sometimes there is really no good choice.

Submitted by MacTheKnife on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 7:02pm.

"...the students are demanded..." (( Demanded by whom?))

"They must continue to go to practices, games, performances, etc." (( MUST they?))

"Because of that being a forced issue" ((Who is 'forcing them?))

"... students cannot spend time with their families or with their church groups." ((Not even at night? Which is more important by the way- family or church groups?))

"...are now being crowded out by these schedules that force parents and students to make choices." ((So, your kids are finally out of elementary and middle and in to high school, huh?))

"... we are teaching our students that activities surrounding our church and faith should be in last place." ((YOU are?))

"Games, practices and performances can be scheduled prior to each school year’s beginning." ((During church camp and vacation for the heretics? You have no concept of Spring/Fall?Winter sports or athletic schedules or GHSA dates for participation do you?))
Enough of that,

Dear Paula,

No one is forcing your kids to do anything. No one but you can require that your student be involved in any extra curricular activity anytime. EXTRA is the key word there.

Do us all a favor and keep them out of school sponsored EXTRA-curricular activities. It is evident that you will be a pain in the side of any coach or sponsor that takes their time to attempt to make your student meet or exceed the level of athletics or scholarship that separates the children in Fayette from so many other places.

Of course, YOU believe that YOUR activities are paramount to all others and YOU want all of the others to conform to YOUR priorities. After all, SOULS are involved in your mind.

You remind me of those who constantly protest the Catholic doctrine but refuse to be anything but Catholic ... hummmm.... didn't the PROTESTANT religion spur from those same protests? Didn't Martin Luther take his ball and move to his own set of beliefs when the Catholic church refused to play by his rules?

Therein lies your solution:

Pull your kids from school extra-curricular activities and start a church equivalent and then you can spend all of your spare time with all of these kids, including yours, (many of whom do not attend church at all or have any outside positive influences).

After all, you ARE a "Youth and Family Ministries Director", right?

IMHO - options and decisions are a good thing.

Each parent, including YOU can decide if they want their student involved in these time consuming extra curricular activities at school. FACT: As your students age, the expectations for success and level of proficiency necessary to succeed in these extra-curricular activities (and their sponsors) will increase.

I am sure that your well rounded students would not benefit from such "demanding" activities; therefore, I would suggest you exercise your PARENTAL responsibilities and rights and make a decision rather than waiting for the FCBOE to do it for you.

Now, I want you to change weekly Church Service to Tuesday afternoons about 4:30pm, who do I make my demand to?

Submitted by rmoc on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 3:47pm.

Sundays should be for church and family. I can understand occasional tournaments but regular practices and activities should be saved for the other 6 days of the week, especially for School Sports. Unfortunately, for recreational and competitive sports like soccer and basketball you sign up for it and must accept that esp. for the older kids activities are on Sunday. If you are a Lightening or Laser Soccer parent, forget about weekends.

I don't know about other coaches but the Whitewater HS Football Team Coaching Staff has always been great about family and Church Events.

Submitted by daisyheadmaisy on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 5:27pm.

the high school basketball teams have tournaments during this break, and they usually have daily practices, too.

It's nothing new that the band has always required members attend Saturday practices, weekend performances, etc. That's all a part of being a member. Summer football practices were mentioned by another poster, and our family had to schedule any kind of family trip around their practice schedule (and the band's, too!). That left all of one week at the first of June and the week before school started - sure, our family didn't like it, but it was a price that had to be paid by the members of said groups and their families.

BUT I do want to point out a new kink in this system: my child's Advanced Placement teacher requires students to take a practice end-of-year AP test several times throughout the year, and these tests are scheduled on Saturdays. If another school obligation already has them obligated for that particular Saturday, then those students must take the test the next day - Sunday! The students earn test grades on these practice end-of-year tests, so there's no choice in not taking them.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 2:21pm.

It has only been a recent phenomena to see the various extracurricular events being scheduled on Sunday and even on Wednesday night. For years the general rule was Sundays were the domain of the NFL. Now youth soccer, and junior varsity athletics, as well as varsity have begun scheduling events during times that only a short time ago were sacrosanct. People are focusing on vacations, but that is not the point. Schools and clubs are knowingly scheduling things to conflict with a normal church life. That is the rub and it is a relatively new thing.

Submitted by wifey on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 1:16pm.

If you CHOOSE to allow your child participate in a sport, then you must adhere to their guidlines. It is your choice whether or not to choose a sport over church. If you don't want your kid to practice, perform, or participate in a game that is ok! Go to church instead! There is no rule that says you have to let your kid do everything. In fact, overscheduling kids doesn't lead to healthy, happy, well-rounded kids. So go to church, and leave the sports to others that won't whine about everything!

Submitted by PTC Avenger on Sat, 12/27/2008 - 4:20pm.

This is nothing new. I played sports in high school and can remember not being able to go on vacations during the summer because of football. Stop whining to the FCBOE, they have enough issues to deal with and frankly they don't need to be bothered with a non-issue like this. Life is all about prioritizing and making choices.

Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 12/23/2008 - 10:29pm.

Sometimes we have to make decisions that we may not want to at the inconvience and sacrifice of some to the greater glory of others, there was only one man that i know of that was all thingsbefore to all people even unto this very day and while one night laying in the bow of a tiny boat in the middle of a roiling stormy sea, the tired man mustered the strenght to rise up and cry out "PEACE", and just as quickly as he lay his head on the wethered deck of the tiny boat, the roiling waters ceased....GOD BLESS...

Submitted by goodshepherd on Tue, 12/23/2008 - 10:17pm.

"you must allow them time away from *just* your instruction."


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.