Academics Compromised by Early Departure

Jaime Brown, Staff Writer

Like many other students who participate in Campo sports, I have often been required to leave school early for a sporting event. This can be necessary when students have a game at another school or need extra time to warm up.

While I would never willingly decline an opportunity to miss class, I still wonder if it is really necessary. When I leave for a volleyball game at another school, I miss out on lessons and classwork that I must make up. The extra homework and studying I have to do can sometimes make leaving school early for sports a burden that doesn’t pay off.

Of her early departures for athletics, Freshman water polo player Izzy Spencer said, “There are definitely some downsides. You’re missing class and you have homework to make up.”

While one student on a sports team may have a seventh period that is easy to miss, such as P.E., and another might not have a seventh period at all, another might have a challenging class like math or English or a world language course. For that student, leaving early can jeopardize their grade.

On the other hand, if an athlete misses a test or quiz, they may receive extra time to study. This is unfair to the other students who stayed in class and took the exam when it was originally administered.

“I have seventh period Bio, so I missed a lot of labs that are hard to make up,” Spencer said.

The student is not the only one inconvenienced by early departures. Biology, Biotech and World History teacher Jay Chugh said, “It’s harder for science because you can’t set up a lab again.”

But sports teams that leave early don’t waste that time. According to Spencer, her water polo team was required to leave early to review their last games, discuss what needed to happen in that day’s game, and develop unity. “We would have team bonding before our game to make sure our game went well,” she said.

For home tournaments and games, the water polo players would also have to set up equipment and prep the pool.

For some athletes, keeping up with school work is not a problem.  To be fair, it is ultimately about the individual and how they prioritize their time and understand the course content. “I think if they make up the classwork and keep up in the class, then it’s fine, but when their grades start falling, then that student needs to complete the school day,” Spencer said. She believes that missing class is fine as long as she knows the material she will be missing.

Campolindo excels in both athletics and academics, and it is important for athletes to successfully balance both. However, I believe academics should always be the priority and the amount of time athletes are pulled out of class should be reduced.