Under pressure from parents, El Diamante High School has dropped the mandatory weight training and conditioning class taken by student-athletes.
In a letter to parents, Visalia Unified Superintendent Todd Oto said the class no longer is required and a waiver for students taking full course loads is being dropped. No student will be punished for not being in a weight training class, the letter said.
“Participation or the failure to participate in the weight lifting class will not be considered by coaches as a condition for membership on an athletic team or to receive playing time,” Oto’s letter said.
However, student-athletes still are expected to get weight training one way or the other.
Participation or the failure to participate in the weight lifting class will not be considered by coaches as a condition for membership on an athletic team or to receive playing time.
Todd Oto, Visalia Unified School District
“Although the requirement for the weight lifting class will be eliminated, student-athletes will be expected to participate in weight training and conditioning with their respective coaches and team members, as scheduled by the coach of each specific sport,” the letter said.
The issue emerged last year when parents went to the school board to complain that high-achieving students taking full class loads, and often other extracurricular activities, were being forced to take weight training before school during so-called pre-first period.
The school started offering a waiver after meetings with parents, but parent Roland Soltesz said students still were being pressured by coaches to enroll in weight training even if they had the waiver.
He sent a letter to the school district threatening to sue over the issue.
“I believe the school district is acting in good faith in starting to address the problems with El Diamante athletics,” Soltesz said Tuesday.
Weight lifting class is offered every period.
Although it no longer is a required class, students enrolled this year must keep taking it because they are getting unit credits, Assistant Superintendent Tamara Ravalin said.
Pre-first students can drop it if they wish, although students who would fall short of units needed to graduate must stay enrolled.