RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — NC Sen. Michael Lazzara presented an amendment in the state legislature on Tuesday to correct an issue regarding student eligibility when taking Advanced Placement classes.
WNCT first told you about Richlands High School’s Caitlynn Guarino, who was looking forward to playing her senior season of high school soccer. She learned she would not be able to play after being told by her coach the classes she was taking in the fall weren’t enough. Guarino was encouraged to take AP classes but later found out that credit for those classes is given at the end of the school year, not at the end of a semester.
As a result, the NC High School Athletic Association determined she lacked the requirements to be eligible to play soccer. An appeal was made to the NCHSAA, which was denied. An appeal to an independent group that handles such situations for the NC Department of Public Instruction was also denied.
A petition was then started at Change.org that has led to nearly 4,800 signatures as of 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Lazzara, who represents Onslow County, presented an amendment to SB 52: Open Meetings/Administering Organizations to fix the issue. A media release states “Lazzara’s amendment grants the Superintendent of Public Instruction the final authority for high school interscholastic athletic eligibility appeals.”
This amendment was adopted and passed with a 46-2 vote out of the NC Senate. It now goes to the NC House of Representatives by special message to receive further debate, consideration and a possible vote.
“Student-athletes should not be punished for taking AP classes and excelling academically,” said Lazzara. “I told my constituents that I would fix this issue, and we’ve done just that by passing this legislation the very next day.
“We look forward to seeing this bill become law quickly in order to rectify this wrong and ensure that it never happens again.”
According to details released from Lazzara, the legislation would allow for appeals to be made to the Superintendent of Public Instruction “by any party affected by the ruling, including the student and the student’s parent. The Superintendent would review the record in each appeal, and may, at the discretion of the Superintendent, allow the opportunity for involved parties to present additional evidence.”