In a stunning display of callous disregard for a child’s emotional health and well-being, a spokesman for the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) recently justified denying depressed children seeking to transfer schools the opportunity to immediately play sports at their new school because of the administrative burden it would create.
In explaining the denial of a hardship waiver to a child claiming he was transferring, in part, because of depression, UHSAA attorney Mark Van Wagoner stated the board “was sympathetic” to the child’s emotional problems, but said that “if we were to grant every kid who was depressed a transfer, we would have nothing but transfer requests for depressed kids.”
In the UHSAA handbook, the UHSAA mission statement, in part, reads:
Knowing that student activities are a significant educational force in the development of skills needed to become a contributing member of society, the UHSAA reaffirms that students are the focus and reason for the Association.
The mission statement further says that “the Association will provide opportunities that … nurture self-realization and build self-confidence.”
But based on the UHSAA spokesman’s comments, it seems that UHSAA’s “focus” on children and desire to nurture their self-confidence are both less important than avoiding administrative headaches for UHSAA.