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More from Rep. Ann Coody about the OSSAA interim study

by Jacob Unruh Modified: September 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm •  Published: September 23, 2013

In Monday’s editions, I visited with Rep. Ann Coody, R-Lawton, about the ongoing interim study regarding the OSSAA. You can read that here.

But that was just part of the interview with her. I thought I would share more of our interview regarding the hearing.

Q: What is the process with an interim study?

A: Members request from the speaker’s office interim studies to learn more about matters that they either don’t want to have legislation on or that they need more information in order to do some kind of legislation. It just helps to investigate matters before you try to do any kind of legislation so that you can get all sides.

What can happen at the end of the study?

Well, I don’t know what they’ll do. When I did an interim study of my own, sometimes I have found that we did not need legislation. Other times it has serves as a basis for legislation because I had both sides of the picture and then could present the legislation with that in mind. So, I don’t know what this presenter of this interim study will do with it. I imagine it will be determined in his mind as to what he finds out in the interim study. And I have not been a part of the interim study because it was not heard in my committee. I was not able to attend because normally we just attend the interim studies that we are members of, but I was out of town on the last one and I will be out of town on the next one , and the third one I will go if I can.

What is your understanding about the home school issues being discussed?

Every year we have representatives from homes schools come up the Capitol at the beginning of the session and they tell us that they want us to stay out of their lives. They have their own reasons for educating their children and they don’t want the legislature regulating them.Since they seem to want to be left alone, it would be difficult for me to see how the majority of home schoolers would even ask for such a piece of legislation in Oklahoma that they could participate.

I’ve never had any home school parents come to me and say we want our kids to play ball with the public schoolers because they have their own organizations and they feel that if any part of the government reaches out to them or they become any part of the public school program that we would then try to regulate them in some way. Of course they would be regulated, their sports program would be regulated if they participated in the public school program.

The homes schoolers that have approached me have begged not to allow such a thing to happen. Now, I’m aware that some legislators have been approached from others, but those people have not contacted me.

In your position now, do you get a lot of calls regarding the OSSAA?

No, I don’t. I have called some people. In fact, let me say that the other day I received an email from an athletic director in a nearby town telling me how he fully supported the OSSAA, and how he did not want them to be removed and how his program as athletic director of his school depended on the leadership of the OSSAA to arrange the tournaments, to help with the scheduling and they’re just very dependent on the OSSAA. I called people in my district and was told sometimes there are problems and we need to take care of those problems, but that’s because I requested. But I’ve had other people tell me who are coaches and athletic directors that we need the OSSAA to help regulate those things.

In my opinion it would be very difficult for a coach or coaches or athletic directors from a school. How could they possibly regulate a program for a whole state? I’ve had them tell me that. We need to have OSSAA regulate. Sometimes they have problems and they don’t like decisions that are made by the OSSAA, but that is taken care of through their representation on that board because there are quadrants in the state of Oklahoma and they elect someone to represent them on that board. They tell that person how they feel and what they want done and then that representative expresses that on the board and they vote on that.

Anything you want to add?

I just want to go on record with what I said at the very beginning that as a legislator and former educator I do support the OSSAA and feel that our problems need to be worked out and taken care of by the member schools and their elected representatives on the OSSAA board of directors.

by Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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