Whether it is "pay to play" in North Smithfield or the threat of not funding sports at all in Woonsocket, school committees know that threatening to withhold funds for sports programs gets people's attention pronto. But it is a cynical way to milk more money from the town under false pretenses. Sports have been and continue to be a great way for kids to learn all sorts of life lessons and interact with a completely diverse group of people. Racism may be a problem in America still, but you can be pretty sure that any 'ute who has played a sport with teammates of different colors is going to be one of the last to ever use vile or demeaning comments towards another racial or ethnic group. Add that to a new promotion of sportsmanship — and we don't mean those idiotic ideas of everyone plays, everyone wins, and no one loses, or we won't keep score — and you get a lot more out of it than some basic good health and a few cuts and bruises.
We won't even mention the inherent and blatant discrimination in North Smithfield's "pay to play" idea. But we hope the townsfolk do, and make sure that every member of this year's school committee who supported it is cashiered at the voting booth next time the chance arises. It's time to really keep score on that issue.
: News Features
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