Without advance notice or explanation, Metro Nashville Public Schools is moving to deny Nashville’s public charter middle school students the opportunity to participate in competitive sports. This decision is detrimental to our students, to our families, and the entire school communities.
Even though we were just notified of this development in an email from the charter schools office on April 29, this change takes effect July 1. Despite our repeated attempts to get answers, MNPS officials have not given a reason for their decision. We’ve been told we will have to form our own league if we want our students to be able to play sports. This makes no sense to us.
Although our schools are run by charter school operators, our students are MNPS students. They deserve the right to keep playing with their peers as they have for years. Two months’ notice does not give us adequate time to set up an entire league properly and still be competitive. We have asked for an extension but have been denied.
For example, at LEAD Public Schools, three of the schools, Brick Church Middle School, Neely’s Bend Middle School, and Cameron Middle School, are traditional, zone-enrolled MNPS middle schools that we operate. These three schools have a historic tradition of competition in the MNPS league. Brick Church won the middle school championship two of the last three years. Since our inception, our public charter schools in Nashville have followed all the guidelines MNPS has put in place. We have followed the bylaws and committed to the competition schedule established by MNPS.
We are asking for fairness and equitable access for our students. Nashville students in our public schools deserve the same opportunities to play and enjoy the many benefits of competitive sports just as much as their counterparts at other public schools.
Sincerely, Dwayne Tucker, CEO LEAD Public Schools