On March 14, 2007, Kolvyn Baessler, an 11 year old student and his best friends wanted to play blackjack after school. Although Baessler and company wanted to play the game as part of their school's tutoring program, the plan was axed by the administration. Thus, Baessler ended up pleading before the Wiggins Board of Education holding a petition and a math book.
Superintendent Sharol Little applauded Baessler's courage in standing up for what he believes in and in doing his petition in an orderly and correct manner, which is what the district requires regarding filing problems by the students in the area. Baessler and his friends usually play Blackjack for about half an hour before studying math and reading, but that routine was abruptly changed.
Baessler, who is in the 5th grade, commented that he thought the reason for the change was that some of the students were caught red-handed playing the game during school hours, which is strictly forbidden by law. Baessler opposed this move, saying that playing blackjack is a reward for studying seriously while in school and not as a tool for punishment.
He further claimed that Blackjack is educational because it teaches them about numbers and utilizing odds. Nancy Hopper, the Principal of Wiggins Elementary School, commented that she has prohibited playing Blackjack because she believes that students should be focusing on tutoring not card games.
Rena Baessler, Baessler's mother, commented that her son is not easily distracted in playing the game and has been exceptional in his classes in the tutoring program. She added that while the school can use other forms of rewards, playing Blackjack has some significance so it should be given a chance. According to President of the School Board, Paula Keefe, the board will review the arguments presented by Baessler and company.
Sunday, April 22 , 2007