In one semester last year, Shannon Henderson failed two courses at Annapolis High School. By the end of the next semester, however, she had replaced those grades with A's with the support of her basketball coach and teammates.
Yet under the school board's recent decision to raise the minimum grade point average for student athletes she wouldn't be able to get that help, she and others complained at a board meeting Monday night.
"My coach made me strive for something," Shannon said. "She encouraged me. She helped me a lot."
The young woman was just one of a small group of students and others who came out to the school board meeting to voice their concerns about the newly adopted policy.
After much debate, the board voted Aug. 5 to raise the GPA required for student athletes from 1.6 to 2.0 and prohibit students who receive a failing grade in any course from participating in any athletic practice or game for 20 days.
The decision continues to generate debate among coaches, boosters and students over whether the board made the right decision.
"Most coaches think the 2.0 is fine," said Annapolis High Athletic Booster Club member Mary Alice Gehreds.
Mrs. Gehreds said many also are opposed to having the higher GPA apply only to athletes. The school board said it is continuing to study the effects of raising the minimum required GPA for athletes as well as students participating in other extracurricular activities.
Besides, teammates offer each other support and guidance, added Desmond Tiegs, another Annapolis High athlete.
"Everybody thinks about grades," he said. "When you're in practice you do a lot of talking, and not just about girls. Sometimes we even talk about school."
In other action, the board voted to set aside $20,000 of a $50,000 donation from the Friendswood Development Corporation, which is building a subdivision in South County, for the school system's general fund.
The developer wanted the money used for specific schools, but board members insisted they should decide how best to spend the money.