At the December 11 Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education meeting, the Board unanimously passed a resolution advocating for the reinstatement of Clarkston resident student Thomas Kithier's athletic eligibility. Read the resolution here.
Steve Hyer, a Clarkston Community Schools Board member for 17 years condemned the administration of Chippewa Valley Schools (Kithier's former district) for blocking a smooth transfer to Clarkston Schools, saying, "If my superintendent deliberately sabotaged a student, it would be the last action my superintendent would take. If my superintendent acted like Mr. Roberts, Mr. Sibley, or Mr. Fusco, I would draft articles of termination immediately and bring the termination action to the board. Deliberately harming another student's future is grounds for termination on the basis of an act of moral turpitude. It is unconscionable, egregious, and I don't know how these men can sleep at night knowing what they did and allowed to happen. You, as grown men, should be ashamed of yourselves."
Board Vice President Kelli Horst said, "I'm struck by the contrast of the commitment and passion of Clarkston educators like those who were honored tonight, for making their students' dreams come true with the determination shown by coaches and administrators at Dakota to prevent a student from pursuing his dream. Clearly there are some people who do not deserve the title of educator. The hypocrisy demonstrated by adults who claim to wish Thomas Kithier 'the best' is appalling. I can't believe the intentionality – the maliciousness – with which he is being made an example of an out-of-touch rule that is arbitrarily enforced, at best. This is pettiness and spite, plain and simple, directed at a high school student. The people who have perpetuated it deserve to be condemned in the strongest terms possible. This resolution has my full support."
Earlier in December, Kithier was ruled ineligible by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and suspended from participation in high school athletics for a total of 180 scheduled school days (the duration of his senior year). The MHSAA alleges Kithier, who resides in Clarkston with his family, is in violation of the association's athletic-motivated transfer rule.
The MHSAA investigation stems from complaints filed by Macomb Dakota High School, Kithier's former school, and the school's refusal to sign Kithier's Educational Transfer form (which would have granted him immediate eligibility). In response, Clarkston Community Schools will pursue all available appeals with the MHSAA to protect the rights of all students to pursue their passions without unnecessary barriers.
About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 8,000 students. We have seven elementary schools (K-5), one middle school serving grades 6-7, one junior high for grades 8-9, and Clarkston High School, which serves students in grades 10-12. We also have an Early Childhood Center serving children ages 3-5, and an alternative high school/community education facility. Each Clarkston Community Schools' student is fully engaged in a globally focused education, from preschool through graduation, that fosters in students a sense of self, perspective, responsibility/ownership, and contribution. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to cultivate thinkers, learners and positive contributors to a global society.