Medical payments for wrestlers raise questions for board

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The issue of reimbursement for medical expenses resulting from a skin infection outbreak among Tecumseh wrestlers this season was revisited during the public comment segment of Monday night’s Tecumseh School Board meeting.

Pat Pelham, the father of two varsity wrestlers, asked the board if it was considering paying the medical bills of the wrestlers who contracted the rash as it had done in the case of one of the wrestlers.

Board President Ed Tritt responded that board representatives had met with the former wrestling coach Tony Greathouse and Supt. Mike McAran on the subject, but that there had not been a decision.

“The coach may ask for a closed session for further discussion,” Tritt said. “For right now, it’s in the lower court.” Tritt was referring to the fact that investigation and discussion are still ongoing. “We’re still trying to figure out a way to do what’s right.”

Tritt said that the legal counsel for the board is meeting with the schools’ insurance carrier but the consultations are still in the preliminary stage. “They have to get back to us on that,” he said.

During the regular portion of the meeting, the board heard a presentation from health teachers Kristalyn Musselman and Chris Hoag on an upgrade to the health education curriculum. Musselman said that the suggested revisions would help Tecumseh students in a number of health curriculum areas that are currently not being addressed and that the revised curriculum would put Tecumseh schools in compliance with a recommendation from the Michigan Board of Education for all public schools to offer 50 hours of health education in each grade.

Musselman told the board that the state board is placing more emphasis on health education in seventh and eighth grade as well as high school because of increasing exposure to prescription drugs, alcohol, peer pressure for sexual activity, and other threats to young people’s health and well-being. She said that Michigan schools as a whole were well below the national average in the number of hours of classroom health education.

Hoag told the board of an anonymous health question survey that he and Musselman had conducted for district students. He said that students are often reluctant to raise questions in class, because the questions may be of a very sensitive nature, and the survey was intended to assess student concerns through the anonymous email questionnaire. “Kids are a lot less shy online,” Hoag said. “They are more open about relationships and risky behavior so we can get a better idea of where problems are.”

In other board business, trustees voted unanimously to accept two gifts from representatives of organizations who were present at the meeting.

Friends of the Tecumseh Symphonic Orchestra President Kathy Koch began her presentation by congratulating vocal music teacher Mary Hofmeister for her recognition by the trustees during the “Good News” part of the meeting. She then expressed her gratitude to the many organizations and businesses that contributed to the success of the orchestra’s season, including the travel and lodging necessary to get the musicians to Grand Rapids for the Michigan Music Conference in January.

“We received $1,000 in donations,” said Koch, “and we’d like to give it back to help pay down the expenses.” The board unanimously approved the gift.

Friends of the Tecumseh Community Pool President Danielle Ward thanked the board for its support of the pool, which is now under the joint direction of the school board and the pool board after the success of the supporting millage campaign last year.

“The past year has been a massive success,” Ward told the trustees, “and we thank the board for its support. One of the biggest events at the pool was the Fitter Faster event that brought in two Olympic swimmers. “It cost $2,000 to bring Fitter Faster here and you loaned us the money to do it. We’d like to return that money to the pool activities account.” Ward said that 146 swimmers participated in the event, some from as far away as Ohio, Indiana, and Canada. “It was a very good benefit for us,” she said. The board unanimously approved the gift.




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