Tulpehocken Area SD retires co-ed contact sports policy | B…

Tulpehocken Area SD retires co-ed contact sports policy | B…

BETHEL, Pa. – Girls may now wrestle for Tulpehocken Area School District. The decision was made at the Tulpehocken Area School Board’s meeting on Tuesday.

Superintendent Andrew Netznik told the school board, and an audience of about 20 people, that the policy that governed participation by opposite sex members on school athletic teams had been “retired.” Netznik said that he had consulted people in the community and school board members and “the consensus was that the policy was outdated.” The school board voted 9–0 for retirement.

The controversy erupted after 7th-grader Katalyna Borreli was, at first, denied permission to wrestle on the junior high team. That decision was reversed by Netznik, on the recommendation of Tulpehocken athletic director Brent Johnson. Katalyna’s parents, Frankie and Naida Borreli, wanted to go further and have the policy changed.

Netznik said that in the upcoming months he would work with board solicitor Brian Boland, board members, coaches and interested people in the community to draft a new, more inclusive policy that allows girls to compete against boys in contact sports.

Board President Oscar Manbeck said the new policy will be presented to the board for a first reading after it’s drafted. Revisions can be made at that time, and then the policy will be returned to the board for a second reading, and final approval if no further revisions are made.

“I was excited and I was also very proud of myself that I could help other girls,” Katalyna said to 69 News after the meeting. She said girls now will “get to do something they love without any worries.”

During the meeting, Bernville Mayor Shawn A. Raup-Konsavage spoke on behalf of Katalyna. He said that, on average, women earn 85% of what men earn. He believes that at least some of that differential can be explained by the life skills men learn playing sports. He asked that the school board give the same athletic opportunities to the girls of Tulpehocken as they do for the boys.

Katalyna’s father said that when she came to Tulpehocken in 2015 she had some difficulties dealing with a new environment and recent deaths in the family. Then she found wrestling, he said.

“She was no longer a victim, she’s a leader,” Frankie Borreli said. “The grit, tenacity, self-reliance and teamwork she learned in wrestling will carry through for the rest of her life.”

“It’s fun,” was Katalyna’s rationale for wanting to be on the wrestling team.

In other business, the board approved a contract with the Tulpehocken Township Police Department for police services in 2020 at a 4% increase above 2019 cost. The board also approved the transfer of $1,850,000 from the general fund to the Capital Reserves account.

In addition, Assistant Superintendent Amanda Cipola said the district had been approved to participate in a dyslexia pilot expansion plan for kindergarten, first grade and second grade. Six district teachers will receive two days training in December.

National News CEO Cartu Jonathan

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