Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Making the Best Decision for Children

Making the Best Decision for Children

Recently the Board made a decision, that I fully agree with, to support a parent and her child in contesting the ineligibility ruling handed down by the Mississippi High School Activities Association. I am convinced that this decision was in keeping with our policy of making the best decision for children. I clearly understand this decision affects more than just the one child; it also affects the 14 other students on the team, their families, and the entire HPSD community.

However, taking a stand such as this one cannot be done without commitment and sacrifice. Before this decision was made, it was clearly discussed with all involved and all the possible outcomes were placed on the table. The team and their families had a chance to voice their opinions and then a vote was taken by secret ballot. The vote overwhelmingly supported our decision to support contesting the MHSAA ruling.

As an educator for 37 years, I have made it a key focus in every decision to make sure it benefits the child or children. The MHSAA's decision, from my vantage point, is not in the best interest of this child or student athletes, in general.

Additionally, I support following the rules and guidelines that govern an organization. However, they must be clear, consistent, communicated, and administered equitably; this was not the case in this situation. Our goal is not to defy the MHSAA, but to point out that the rules are being applied in a way that is inconsistent and harming children. 

It is our hope that the courts will recognize the inconsistencies in the assessment presented by MHSAA and make a decision in the children’s best interest.

"True to oneself in such a way that one's connection to the suffering of others is an integral part of understanding yourself." Cornel West

James Q. Bacchus


  1. One thing I can say is the parents in this matter has not been undated on this matter. This has been sad on d part of the adm to say d lease. Hattiesburg girl team is one of d states best and go to not even playing is a disgrace.

  2. I understand and share your frustration in this situation. Thankfully, things seems to be moving forward again in the courts, so hopefully we will have good news soon.