About 500 students here at Westside can be found in the auditorium during lunch on Wednesdays. Starting last week, failing athletes are now required to go to “study lab” for the first half of Lunch every Wednesday. Initiated by a couple of coaches who spoke to Ms. Stewart, the purpose is for the coaches to be able to monitor the academic successes of the students. According to Westside administration, the mandatory tutorials are to make sure that students follow that pass and play rule, remaining in UIL compliance while making sure that they are also successful in the classroom. Even though this is meant to help athletes, and allow them to perform, many students and teachers are angered and confused by the new circumstances.
Entering the auditorium, student-athletes all find themselves in the same situation, missing lunch due to a failing grade. However, not all the situations are the same. Yes, there are students who are actually failing from bad grades on tests, but sometimes teachers will put in a space-holder grade if a student is absent on a particular day. Students are accountable for their grades, but they are punished when teachers put in zeros for their weekly grades, just to have a grade in gradespeed. That’s what is referred to as a space-holder grade. It is mandatory for teachers to weekly update grades and be in compliance, but when they have over 100 different tests to grade within a certain time, it becomes difficult. It can be difficult for the athletes to know when their teachers are going to be putting grades in for them, they can find themselves in the lunch tutorial due to lack of communication.
Stay tuned for part 2 where athletes express their own opinion on how they feel