Save athletics in APS high schools

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The purpose of this petition is to raise awareness of the possibility of Albuquerque Public Schools cutting lesser known sports from high schools.  Last week, APS made the unfortunate announcement that all middle school sports will be cut to save a meager 500,000 dollars of the more than 26,000,000 needed to balance the budget. It is understood that budget cuts are inevitable, but cutting athletics of any kind is not the answer.

There have been talks and rumors that the next move of APS will be to cut lesser known high school sports such as Tennis, Cross-Country, Wrestling, Swimming, and Golf. This cannot and should not be allowed to happen. If APS is allowed to cut sports, it will fall far behind the rest of the state in regards to both athletics and academics. How can APS claim to be “a great place for kids” when they are taking away valuable life experiences and collegiate opportunities (that are virtually guaranteed to the rest of the country and state) from the students they claim to serve?

The academic benefits reaped by student athletes have been illustrated numerous times. It has been proven that sports are a great way for student athletes to learn the six pillars of character (Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship) as well as sportsmanship. It has been demonstrated that students who participate in athletics will have better grades, more confidence, and better self-esteem. Studies have shown that participation in high school athletics greatly improves chances of graduation. It is a known fact that students who participate in athletics have a better chance staying away from drugs and alcohol. High school athletics give students who would not otherwise be able to afford it, the opportunity for a collegiate education. In addition, the sports in question (Cross Country, Wrestling, Tennis, Swimming, and Golf) draw students who want to stay active and fear being “cut” from traditional team sports such as football or volleyball. By removing these opportunities, participation, health, and academics of these students will plummet.

It is the hope of all the signatories of this petition that APS will demonstrate its commitment to students and stop considering the removal of high school athletics.

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