Parents, teens weigh in on changes in S.C. school sports
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Significant changes to the high school sports landscape in South Carolina could be coming from the State House.
A lot of South Carolinians with an interest in high school sports believe the playing field isn’t fair right now – especially when some of the state’s public charter schools are on the field.
Last week — the ad hoc high school athletics committee met for the first time and heard from the commissioner of the South Carolina high school league.
On Wednesday at the State House, it was the public’s turn to weigh in.
“We can’t go somewhere else … We have what we have,” said Jim Hyatt, Chesness High School athletic director.
Some South Carolinians say public charter schools like Gray Collegiate Academy and Oceanside have become too dominant.
But others say not every student is getting the opportunity to compete in sports – as some traditional public schools forfeit games against their charter school competition – as an act of protest.
“We are right now prohibiting … because adults can’t get along,” said Andrea Gregory, a Gray Collegiate parent.
Several legislative bills have already been filed – including ones that would create a new governing body for high school sports under the state Department of Education. It would require charter and private schools move up classifications and play against larger traditional public schools and restrict charter schools’ postseason participation.
Some students from a Rock Hill private school spoke in favor of legislation that would allow them to play sports at their local public school – because their school is too small to field a team.
There’s no statutory deadline for the committee to submit recommendations, but some are hoping by the time the new legislative session begins in January.
Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.