Let's apply common sense in Scott County
In the sad and complicated situation involving the Scott County school system, common sense should prevail.
In other words, the teens, who are not at fault, should not be punished and should be allowed to play ball. The adults, who caused the Scott County school system to face takeover by the state, should face the consequences.
A quick summary for those not familiar with the situation:
An audit of the Scott County School system found the schools mismanaged, including violations of state and federal law. At fault, according to the accreditation commission audit: Superintendent Bingham Moncrief.
The Mississippi State Board of Education has recommended a state takeover of the Scott County School District. Should that happen, extracurricular activities, by law, would be severely limited for the students of those schools. An order for the state takeover now sits on Gov. Phil Bryant’s desk awaiting his signature. One ramification: The 21-5 Scott Central girls basketball team, led by Victoria Vivians, would be banned from the post-season. Vivians already has set the all-time Mississippi high school scoring record. She, as her teammates, is a good student, a role model. Vivians scored 42 points, three under her average Tuesday night, when Scott Central defeated Union 67-43. Scott Central won handily despite the fact coach Chad Harrison said his players are obviously concerned they are “playing for nothing” these days.
Understand: Scott Central is not failing academically. Those girls have not done anything wrong — unless basketball excellence is wrong.
Yet, Friday night’s game at Clarkdale could be the last for Scott Central and the last of Vivian’s historic high school career.
It would be a sad miscarriage of justice for the Scott Central team to be punished. Indeed it would be wrong for any Scott County athletic team — or debate team for that matter — to be punished because of the malfeasance of adults.
In most cases, state takeover occurs because the schools are failing academically. That’s not true in the case of Scott County. It is a B-level district (graded A through F).
Sen. Terry Burton of Newton has offered a solution to spare the students. He hopes to help pass legislation that would remove putative measures against students in A- and B-level districts that go into conservatorship. As Burton points out, we’re not talking about just athletics. Extracurricular activities include everything from band to debate.
Again, punish the adults who caused the problems; don’t punish the kids. The latter solves nothing.