A month after a seventh-grader tearfully told the Fayette County school board that a technicality is preventing her from trying out for the Tates Creek High School swim team, the district will revisit the issue.
Now Superintendent Manny Caulk said the district will form a committee to study the issue. Caulk made the announcement Thursday as the school board learned more about the district policy.
Madison Camuel’s mother, Adrielle Camuel, told the Herald-Leader that the family is happy that Caulk and the board acknowledged concerns about policies governing seventh- and eighth-graders participating in high school extracurricular activities.
“The formation of a committee to address these areas of concern shows a commitment to fulfilling the charge of the current proposed equity statement in Superintendent Caulk’s Strategic Plan and his Blueprint for Success,” Adrielle Camuel said.
In Fayette County, seventh- and eighth-graders can compete on high school athletic teams. The district doesn’t have middle school swim teams.
Madison’s home address is assigned to Jessie Clark Middle School and Lafayette High School, but she attends the district’s gifted accelerated program at Tates Creek Middle School. Students enrolled in the Tates Creek Middle school gifted accelerated program are not eligible to participate in Tates Creek High School athletics unless they reside in the Tates Creek High School attendance area.
Last month, Madison pleaded with the board to fix the technicality, saying “It hurts a lot.”
Madison’s parents, Adrielle and Chris Camuel, asked for a waiver of board policy for Madison but said the issue stands to affect other students among the 66 in the gifted accelerated program at Tates Creek Middle who can’t travel from Tates Creek Middle School to their assigned high schools quickly enough in the afternoons to make it to athletic practices or other extracurricular activities.
There also are students in other gifted and special programs in Fayette County outside their assigned schools.
Last month, the board, with the exception of Doug Barnett, voted to refer the decision about Madison back to the school administration.
It’s unclear where the school’s decision stands, but Adrielle Camuel said Sunday that until there is a recommendation by the proposed committee, Madison and the other middle school students enrolled in special academic programs won’t be allowed to participate in high school extracurricular activities outside their high schools of residence.
Adrielle Camuel said she and her husband Chris, both Fayette County school employees, have asked to serve on the committee when it convenes.
“While we realize it is unlikely the concerns raised will be resolved in the near future, we remain optimistic that the barriers our current policies and guidelines have created will be eliminated before the start of the 2017-18 school year.”