Newton parents raise concerns after controversial BOE decision benefits wrestler
NEWTON, Kan. (KWCH) - A group of concerned parents attended Monday night’s school board meeting in Newton following a controversial decision last week that helped a high school wrestler participate in last weekend’s Class 5A State Tournament.
Parents voiced their concerns that the board changed the code of conduct policy to support one athlete after a video released showed him vaping on school property. Prior to the policy change, that athlete wouldn’t have been able to participate.
“You spit in our face for one kid because you had to have that badge on the wall. You ought to have all your badges stripped, the state titles taken away. Because you know what? It was unethical, said Eric Puttroff, among those who spoke up Monday night.
Newton finished second in the Class 5A standings Saturday.
Another speaker, Victor Garcia, told the board members they should extend the same grace to other students who’ve faced discipline for similar action as it did for the wrestler.
“In my opinion, to save your integrity, it’s time to do the work. You need to go address every family that’s been affected, from a senior down to a freshman. If they’ve already graduated, it’s too late. And show them the same grace that you showed this young man.”
The father of the wrestler at the center of the issue also addressed the board during public comment at Monday night’s meeting. He said was he was made aware of the vaping video in late January and believes it was saved and intended to harm his son’s ability to participate in last weekend’s state tournament.
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