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May 26, 2010 - Safety of students top priority

Dear Editor,

The recent death of a student in Detroit who was killed when the bus started moving occurred while the girl had her head out the window waving to friends. As the bus passed by a roadside tree the girl's head struck the tree. (The Detroit News, May 21, 2010.)

I immediately thought of our students on Brandon School District buses. Our bus drivers do not allow students to have their hands, arms or heads out the window-period! They care about the students and their safety.

They take their jobs and responsibilities seriously. A few years ago the vote was approved for the sports complex, football stadium with turf. Now there is talk of privatizing our bus service-wrong! The safety of our students should be first in priorities. Their safety shouldn't be placed in the hands of people who have no connection to our students and their families and our community. Please, no privatization! Our kids are worth more than that!

Thank you for your consideration.

Gael Tryles

Groveland Twp.

Church, high school soccer bad mix?

Dear Editor,

Church youth groups have a goal of promoting strong values, positive relationships and decisions, as well as good healthy fun and fellowship.

St. Anne Catholic Church, along with three other churches, decided that it would be fun to have a "Teen Soccer Night," as a fellowship opportunity, since so many of our youth like to play.

We combined about nine youth from each church ranging from never-played to on-a team in skill. We had a mixture of guys and girls ranging from ninth 12th grade and counted off to form teams and mix up the churches to promote fun and fellowship. We had a wonderful time and the youth met others from churches in our vicariate. At one time we were playing 17 against 17, to include everyone and no one even knew the score! We had no coaches, no referees or anyone who actually knew how to run this night. It was only us youth ministers and some parents. We were very happy with the success of this brand new outing until someone read the church bulletin (Yes, they do that) and decided to report this to the athletic director. Now our girls who play on the team at school are being punished and missing out on their last three games of the season. I can't tell you how bad I feel about this and never in a million years did I think this could happen in our nice little town. No other churches had this issue and are all appalled that something so innocent could end up so political.

Apparently once the athletic director was contacted, it is his obligation to pursue the question of whether we violated Michigan High School Athletic Association rules by letting youth on the school team have fun with their youth group friends.

Brandon Athletic Director Wayne Thompson understood this was about fun and fellowship also, but because a spiteful parent called him, the MHSAA ended up ruling against these girls playing with their church friends. Does this sound like MHSAA is overstepping church to you? Let's leave the innocent youth out of the problems of the adults and let them have some good healthy fun.

So, does this mean we aren't allowed to throw a football around in our yard if the youth is playing on a school team?

Does this mean we can't play basketball in the church parking lot if the youth is on the school team?

When and where is the line drawn between good clean fun and violating MHSAA rules? I am beyond disappointed and disgusted, so again "When is fun and fellowship not allowed?

Kim Zernec, St. Anne Youth Minister

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