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To the editor:

My reason for writing this letter. My daughter who played for CMS football and other boys and girls won't get their chance to play in high school. No matter their skill level, they wont even make it to trying out, with the overwhelming cost that accompanies a sport.

My daughter was told that in order for her to play or even try out, she would be required to attend football camp, that and gear would total nearly $200. This is supposed to be a public school athletic program! Not a pay to play system. This program is keeping out children from middle to lower class.

People wonder what drives these youths to running the streets and getting into trouble. Maybe if these impressionable youths had an outlet and structure that accompanies school athletics, not to mention the development of social skills, fair play and sportsmanship, they would be more of a benefit to society. Who knows if one of these children kept out would have been another Aikman, Jordan or Aaron?

The Columbus school system should be looking at ways to help these individuals have a chance to at least try out, before it spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on new sports facilities at the new high school. Just a minute portion of those funds could send every student that signed up a chance to go to football camp or a soccer clinic, etc.

In closing, I would like to impress upon the Columbus school system the need to include these youths and their families in their decision making. I would love to see our athletes performing in a brand new facility. Though, not if it means that some kids because of cost, and not ability, would not be able to enjoy the facility.

Noell Gautier



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