Allow BGS students to help with ‘Olympics’

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We believe that it is time for the Washington Parish School Board to rescind an injunction from the 1970s and allow Bowling Green School students to assist with the Special Olympics.

BGS student body president Ashley Foret spoke at Thursday night’s school board meeting, informing board members of the injunction. Foret said that she and some friends from BGS wanted to join Franklinton High School to help with the Special Olympics, which are held on the FHS campus.

Foret said she eventually received a response from FHS principal Lisa Tanner, who informed Foret that the BGS students could not help, because of that 1974 injunction.

Certainly, it is implied that private schools and public schools must have some degree of separation. But, this situation seems a bit different.

There seems to be no logical reason why BGS students should be prevented from helping a community-wide event like the Special Olympics. If anything, their willingness to volunteer should be welcomed with open arms, because it would lessen the workload on everyone else.

The mindset behind the Special Olympics is that every competitor has the opportunity to participate, regardless of the mental or physical handicap that he or she faces. And the motto even says, “If I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” It seems misguided that these BGS students willingly want to participate, but are being held back by this antiquated ruling.

We urge the school board to join other Louisiana parishes, and lift the injunction to allow private school students to assist with the Special Olympics.