New Athletic Transfer Bill

Bill may allow students transferring schools due to bullying to be exempt from 90-day athletic waiting period

Katie Beer, Writer

Switching schools because of bullying issues is a serious ordeal and should be treated like one.

As of right now, students in Iowa can transfer schools due to bullying but cannot play sports for the first 90 days of enrollment in their new school. The 90-day waiting period policy prevents students from carelessly transferring schools and prevents athletic recruitment at public schools, but also can add more pressure to bullied students looking for a new environment. This policy is essentially a punishment to the bullied student, who then has to be out of sports after moving schools despite the fact that the bullying was not their fault.

There is currently a bill being looked at that could change the whole school-transfer game. This bill would waive students who transferred due to bullying from the 90-day athletics waiting period. Transfer students for reasons besides bullying would still follow the 90-day policy.

This could go really well, or really badly.

The question presented with this bill is whether or not people will be good people about it. Bullying is a real problem and many students suffer through it each day. There are many kids who may be bullied, but choose to stay at their school to participate in their sport. A new school would be much safer for them and a much more beneficial learning environment, and they’d be more willing to make that commitment if they could persevere athletically at their new school.

However, there is also the possibility that coaches will use this to lure athletes to their school. Offers are already thrown around, guaranteeing students varsity spots if they transfer schools, and it’s totally possible that coaches will tell students to file a bullying report in order to get that ever-so-desirable spot on varsity.

Ultimately, the outcome is up to the coaches. They can help the kids who genuinely need to get out of a bad learning environment, or they can take advantage of a bill that’ll help them recruit for high school sports. Will Iowa’s coaches really risk the loss of a bill that helps suffering students in order to get that star football player?