(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a revision to a story that ran in Wednesday's edition of the Standard-Examiner.)
FARMINGTON -- Two Davis district high school athletic directors spoke out against a parent-proposed policy change to allow ninth-graders to play up at a high school outside of their boundaries.
Jay Welk with Davis High School and David Hoch with Northridge High School both said the parent-proposed policy change would polarize schools. Both spoke before the Davis School Board during its workshop meeting on Tuesday.
School board members are considering two proposed policy change recommendations.
According to the district's current policy, ninth-graders can play high school sports as long as it is within their school boundaries. The only exception to the policy allows students of district employees to play sports as a ninth-grader at a high school where their parent works.
First, the board will be presented with a policy change recommendation from the district's ninth-grade participation committee at its board meeting April 16. That committee's proposed policy change is to eliminate the current exception and allow ninth-graders to play only at a school within their boundary.
"We are recommending they delete (the exception) and that our employees are treated the same as every parent in the district," said John Robison, the district's athletic director.
Members of the ninth-grade participation committee include coaches, school administrators and athletic directors, said Christopher Williams, the district spokesman.
The second proposed policy was created by a parent. It would allow any ninth-grade student to play at a high school that is not within their school boundaries. That proposal came about because a ninth-grade student wants to play baseball this spring at Viewmont High School but does not live within the boundary, Michelle Beus said at the workshop meeting on Tuesday.
Board members were told they can also vote to substitute the parent-proposed policy change instead of accepting the committee's policy change, but the athletic directors said that policy would cause problems. School board members will review the policies and may make a motion at the April school board meeting to substitute the parent policy for the committee policy if they desire.
Welk said coaches are not out recruiting players from other schools, "because we're recruiting our own."
Welk said if the board accepts the parent-proposed policy, Davis School District will end up like many of the other school districts.
A school with a strong football program will attract students who want to play football.
Welk said when Davis High School played against Cottonwood High School several years ago for the state championship, 45 of the 65 Cottonwood players did not live within the school's boundaries.
It also diminishes the sense of community, Robison said.
"When you have students playing who don't live in the school boundaries, those schools have seen their gate receipts go in the tank," Robison said