MANCHESTER, Ky (WYMT) - A group of parents and coaches in Clay County are asking the school board to change their retention policy pertaining to athletics.
In 2009, the Clay County School Board changed the rules so that starting in fifth grade, students only have four years of eligibility to play sports before high school even if they are held back in those upper elementary grades.
"We just want to get on an even playing field with our rivals that we play with so we can be competitive from a sports stand point," said Clay County High School Boys Basketball Coach Robert Marcum.
"It's hit our middle school right now, our numbers right now are really down this year," said Clay County High School Football Couch Evan Napier.
School officials say the main reason the board changed the policy had to do with making sure kids graduate.
"Research does support that kids who are retained are more at risk of not graduating from high school, however we do understand the reasons for retention vary," said Clay County Schools Assistant Superintendent Amon Couch.
People in Clay County have varying opinions on the issue.
"That should really be the parents decision, depending on their age," said Clay County resident Henry Hazel.
"I think the school needs to be more on grades and better education, and not on sports," said another resident Willie Mae Collins.
Coaches in Clay County also say there are other benefits to retention other than athletic including academic and maturity.
School officials say the board will look at all arguments before making a decision.
It is up to each school district to decide their policy on retention and athletic eligibility at the upper elementary and middle school levels.
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