Tonawanda News

Breaking News

Opinion

October 16, 2012

CONFER: Cut school sports — for philosophical reasons

Last week’s column discussed the dire straits faced by school districts and how it makes good fiscal sense to cut sports. It’s also good practice from a philosophical standpoint.

Very few people would argue against society having a responsibility, within reason, for the education of our youth. It’s only fair: it was done for us and we should do it for them. It’s also a good investment: The introduction of knowledge to and the fostering of critical thinking skills within our children will always pay huge dividends when they became capable, working adults who will contribute to the greatness oftheir generation and those that follow.

But, a line needs to be drawn.

We should fund science, math and the humanities. They contribute to the basic premise of public education. The burden that taxpayers shouldn’t shoulder, though, are the extra-circular activities. Not only do athletics have the potential to adversely affect the budgeting of the intellectual pursuits and/or create undue financial burden on local, state, and federal taxpayers, but we’ve been saddled for too long by a sort of misguided belief whereby society thinks that entertainment and leisure deserve the same investment of energy and public funds as the things that really count in life.

It should be noted that by strengthening the important aspects and outcomes of education (know-how, creativity and productivity) in the home, in our community and in our nation, leisure will follow as an improved people (singularly and collectively) have the time and money to invest in it. We’re not even close in that regard — not only are our students getting trounced when compared against the rest of the world’s children, but our society is in an escalated state of decline (see our struggling economy, for starters). It’s the overemphasis on leisure that contributed to the Roman Empire’s complacency and resulting death, and it’s doing the same to us. To some, that may seem like over-reaching hysteria, but take a look around you: Think of how many youths (and their parents) focus more on sports than on their studies…they’d rather excel on the field than in the classroom.

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo