By City Councilor Erin Murphy
Boston Public School parents were disappointed when some of them noticed the small blurb, only two sentences long, buried at the bottom of the newsletter this week saying that they have made the decision to continue the current pause in athletics.
Sports provide our children with way more than just the opportunity to exercise their bodies. There are social, health and psychological benefits that allow our kids to do better in life. As a mother of student athletes (Go BLA Dragons and Eagles!) who benefitted in so many ways from their time on school teams, and as a public school teacher who knows that educating the whole child has to include physical and social wellness to be successful, I will fight for school sports for our BPS kids. I know how participation on a school team, whether it’s volleyball, cheering, football, or soccer, can transform a youngster’s life, increasing motivation and a sense of inclusion, and knitting together a closer school and neighborhood community.
I believe we should be doing everything possible to get our Boston Public School sports back on track. Boston children who attend METCO, private and parochial schools are still playing sports. Kids in neighboring towns are still playing sports. Many of our BPS students are still playing sports in their neighborhood athletic organizations. As long as we are following the CDC guidelines, I do not think we should continue the pause that was started during winter break. Boston Public School kids need this outlet for their social and mental health, now more than ever.
This has to stop and I will fight for our students on the City Council. It’s the right thing to do because we all know that sports are good for everyone. The physical benefits are just the beginning. Kids who participate on school teams are far more likely to have improved grades, report healthier social behavior, and to reach higher academic and professional success after high school. Our own kids have the will, the talent, and the RIGHT to all the wonderful, life-long benefits that school sports offer.
As the only teacher on the City Council, one with real lived experience, who knows firsthand what it means to be a BPS student, athlete, parent, and teacher. That’s me. It’s what I’ve done all my life, and as your At Large City Councilor it is what I will continue to do for each and every family in BPS and Boston.
Erin Murphy is a Boston City Councilor At-Large.