Superintendent Press Release March 24, 2023
Dear Cedar Bluffs Families,
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE EGG HUNT AND PANCAKE FEED MARCH 26TH FROM 9AM – NOON AT THE AUDITORIUM SPONSORED BY THE CEDAR BLUFFS PTO!
Well, the NSAA is at it again. This time passing legislation that some in the inner circle are calling the “Cedar Bluffs” rule. The Nebraska School’s Activity Association passed by-law 184.108.40.206 which makes all Foreign Exchange students ineligible for high school varsity sports no matter what grade in high school they are listed as, if that student does not live in the district where they are attending school. As you know Cedar Bluffs Public School has a very small district, you can drive 4 miles East and 3 miles West of the school and you would be outside the school district boundaries of Cedar Bluffs. Last year, Cedar Bluffs had 6 Foreign Exchange students enrolled in our school but only 2 of those students lived with host families that resided within the Cedar Bluffs District. Next year, 4 of the students would be ruled ineligible for varsity competition based on the new by-law. This year, Cedar Bluffs listed those 4 Foreign Exchange students are Freshman, because in the State of Nebraska all Freshman are eligible for varsity competition at any school they choose to attend, despite where they live. Below is my letter to the NSAA board of directors and interim director.
Dear Mrs. Schwartz and NSAA Board Members,
I see the NSAA decided to pass a new bylaw 220.127.116.11 and respectfully, it feels that it is directly aimed at Cedar Bluffs since we contacted you this year regarding issues with Foreign Exchange kids not living in our district. I will remind you that our district is very small, we have families living three miles from our school and are not in our district. Yet, their district's school is nine miles from them, so it makes sense that they send their kids to us. I believe there are many instances of this in the Omaha Metro area as well, where school choice is seen as a fundamental right.
Almost all parents, in my experience, who take foreign exchange students have their own kids in school. I think it is only right that those hosting foreign exchange students should be allowed to put their student in the same school that their biological children attend without the punishment of varsity ineligibility.
I know you feel that the foreign exchange students could just play non varsity sports, but many small schools do not offer non varsity level competition because they don't have enough students to fill out their varsity roster. Many small schools across the State need foreign exchange students, just to fill their varsity roster. Foreign Exchange kids come to America to have an American Experience, not being allowed to participate in Sports in High school would keep them from that full experience. Cedar Bluffs does not offer JV Cross Country, JV Golf, JV Boys or Girls Wrestling, JV Boys Basketball nor JV Track teams this year. We simply don't have enough kids participating to give those opportunities.
Also, just wondering how equitable this ruling is when Private Schools don't have districts. Quoting from the NSAA mission statement, one of the purposes of the NSAA is "to organize, develop, direct and regulate an interscholastic activity program which is equitable.... for all participants.
I would really appreciate if you could consider an amendment to this ruling at least allowing parents who have biological children in their school of choice be allowed to put their foreign exchange child in the same placement with the ability to know the NSAA is treating that child equitable.
Thank you for your time and consideration.