Late release Wednesdays: an extreme burden on student athletes

Sam Kelderman, Staff Writer

You wake up and it’s 8:30 in the morning on a Wednesday. You feel satisfied and relaxed that you were able to have at least one day out of the week to sleep in and get the needed rest that you deserve. But then, a horrible thought crosses your mind: you have three exams today, and not only that, but you have track after school and then another practice after that for club basketball. Feelings of regret begin to swarm inside you about making the decision to sleep in. You should have woken up early this morning to do the homework that you’ll now be starting around 10:00 p.m. tonight.
Unfortunately, the benefits of waking up late are outweighed by the disadvantages of late release Wednesdays. The Wednesday late releases are restricting Liberty athletes from time dedicated to not only sports, but homework and free time as well.
As a three sport athlete and a participant in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) club basketball that goes from March to July, I do not have a lot of time on my hands. Freshman year, I learned how to balance the workload of school with sports by getting my homework done at a decent time. For the most part, it was pretty manageable.
However, along with the increased academic difficulty that sophomore year has brought, I now struggle with the late release Wednesdays, like many other athletes in my situation. The late release time forces athletes like me to start homework at an absurd time on those days. Moreover, I currently run track and play AAU basketball and I love both sports, which means that I want to be able to make both practices.
The sad truth is that I am being forced to skip track on Wednesdays so I can make it to my basketball practices in Bellevue and finish my homework as well. It really hurts when you want do the things you love and are passionate about, but are limited by the 3:35 p.m. release time on Wednesday; athletes know that this one hour extension is a huge inconvenience.
Not only do students have to skip practices, but students also have to miss their last classes of the day in order to make it to their games on time. This is hard for students because they have to make up all the school work that they missed that period. Game, match, and meet times that are on Wednesdays do not meet up with our school’s release time.
Everyone has passions to fulfill other than school, whether it be multiple sports, clubs, family time, or social lives. When something absurd like late release Wednesdays takes away those passions, then are you really happy in high school? When you’re older, you want to remember the goals you reached and the fun times you experienced when participating in a favorite club or sport, not the time you spent being restricted from it.
We already have enough homework to work on each night and our time is being stripped away by something that is in our control to change. How much does 20 minutes of extra time per class period really affect our learning? The fact is that it doesn’t and is making students and parents angry.
I’m not saying that school shouldn’t be a main focus for students who have multiple sports, but I am suggesting that the District reconsider its choice to release students at 3:35 p.m. on Wednesdays. Instead, the District could add eight minutes onto each regular school day to accommodate for the absurd release time on Wednesdays.