SMSD leaders hear from concerned students, parents regarding possible cut of gymnastics programs

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Students and parents came out to Shawnee Mission South Monday night to voice their concerns about the district possibly getting rid of its gymnastics teams. The school district sent a letter out that said it would be making a recommendation to its board of education to discontinue to program.

Richard Kramer, the Director of Student Activities and Athletics, said the decision to make the recommendation is not final and he wanted to hear from students and parents first.

He said the program is not a financial burden but it's been difficult to find qualified coaches.

"We've had such a rotation of coaches and just trying to find coaches this year, we didn't find our two coaches until late July," he said.

Kramer said the program is not drawing enough student attention and that only 41 girls from the district are participating right now.

Dozens of upset athletes and parents voiced that they were upset at Monday night's meeting.

"It would be devastating, I would hate to see gymnastics leave, I've made so many friends through it and people who have supported me through everything I've been through," said student Anna Sarol.

Kramer said district staff will discuss Monday night's conversation before any decisions are made. He said they will decide whether or not to send that recommendation next month. The Olathe School District also had a meeting Monday night about cutting its gymnastics program.

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