News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Hat ban silly, will fail to prevent display of colors

To The Daily: A week later Iím still shaking my head in disbelief over the hat ban at city school functions.

I suspect the main reason most at-risk youths join gangs to begin with is for a sense of belonging, as their perception is that established society doesnít understand them and they donít understand established society.

This policy would certainly seem to reinforce their concern.

There are a million ways I can show my colors if Iím in a gang. Iím not restricted to a ball cap in that regard.

Furthermore, one has to wonder whatís next. Is any article of clothing endorsing certain professional teams going to be banned?

A certain brand of tennis shoes? Are they going to tell me my pants arenít tight enough or Iím not wearing them high enough on my waist?

This appears to be nothing more than a window dressing, feel-good action so that some folks can justify their existence by saying, ďHey, look what we did!Ē I certainly hope thatís not the case, but I really have a hard time seeing it any other way.

Iím gravely concerned over what seems to be an extreme shallowness of thought process in this whole mess. Iím even more gravely concerned the people involved in such a shallow thought process are running the school system in which our future is constructed.

Donny White


City school boardís fan restrictions diminish fun

To The Daily: Iíd like to tip my hat to the Decatur Board of Education, but they wouldnít let me wear one.

After attending my first high school basketball game of the season, I have to say Iím going to miss some of the excitement that has always been provided by the Austin student section in the past.

My family and I have attended most of the Austin basketball games for the past 10 years and although weíve never seen the gang fight that the administration seems to be so worried about, we have seen a lot of students who come out and cheer for their team, something that most school administrators would be happy to see.

With the boardís passing of the ďno hat, no body paint, no signs, no standing, no funĒ rules, Iím afraid the student support of the games will eventually wane and become a thing of the past. I can understand that kids wonít be interested in coming to the games when they are asked to pay $5 and then act like they are in a library.

Iím not advocating any offensive behavior, and I can say I have not witnessed any by the Austin student section.

School sports help students to identify with the school and the atmosphere at the games is part of the reason people attend. I donít mind at all that the admission price to the games was raised to pay for extra security. Iím all for creating a safe place to gather.

But since I donít see Superintendent Sam Houston or the board members at the games, I wonder why they thought there was a problem.

I was happy to see the student section full at Friday nightís game. It wonít stay that way if the board makes attending the games more like work than fun.

Joe Bennett


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