#Students' Rights
United States of America

The OSAA (Oregon School Activities Association) has barred Portland's Cleveland High School A-Choir from participating in the Oregon 6A State Choir Competition to be held Saturday, May 9.

Cleveland's A-Choir placed 1st in the Portland Interscholastic League Choir Festival on April 9, 2015 which automatically qualified the choir for the state competition to be held at George Fox University.

Participating schools had till April 18 to submit their online registration. Cleveland complied on April 10, but because of some unfortunate miscommunication between colleagues, not all the necessary information was submitted.

On Monday, April 20, Cleveland's Choir Director was on the OSAA website and noticed Cleveland was not on the list of participants. Cleveland immediately contacted the OSAA and was informed that they were disqualified from the state competition because of the incomplete registration. Cleveland tried appealing this decision, but was denied by the OSAA and most recently by Hearings Officer Mary J. Deits who found there was not sufficient evidence to overturn the OSAA ruling, but Mary Deits' footnote states that the OSAA should clarify their rule to avoid future "misunderstandings". How unfortunate that this "misunderstanding" has cost 62 Cleveland High School students the chance to perform with the best choirs in the state.

Why should these kids be punished because of a clerical error, bureaucratic stubbornness and poorly written "rules"? This is supposed to be a celebration of our state high school choirs which these days are too few in number. When did art disappear and bureaucracy take over?

The OSAA could have contacted Cleveland before the deadline to point out that their registration was incomplete but they did not. Shouldn't they help each and every school complete necessary registration requirements no matter what the activity? Isn't that what they are there for? Since when did the registration process become part of the competition? Very mean spirited.

We all know that life isn't fair, but this is something that didn't have to happen. I implore you to bring this story to the forefront and let the public know about this ridiculous ruling.

Just let the kids sing!

We, the undersigned, call on the Oregon School Activities Association to allow Cleveland High School to participate in the Oregon 6A High School Choir competition on May 9 at George Fox University.

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The Let the Kids Sing! petition to Facebook was written by Diane Schoepp and is in the category Students' Rights at GoPetition.