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Compromise Allows Wearing Of Jerseys

Not all the time – but at least on weeks with home games – such as this week for the Outlaws Homecoming on Saturday, players for the youth football organization can wear their jerseys to school on Fridays.

Several people spoke on the issue at the Tuesday, Sept. 4 Escalon Unified School District board meeting, with four speaking out in favor and two against the wearing of jerseys by the youth football players.

Concerns over potential bullying sparked the debate; EUSD Superintendent Ron Costa said an incident of players bullying other students some two decades ago prompted the loss of the privilege. But some Outlaws parents this year sought a reversal, noting that students are allowed to wear other team jerseys to school and high school players get to wear theirs on game day as well.

“All comments were made during the oral communication part of the agenda and by law the board cannot comment during oral communication,” Costa said of the school board members taking in the comments.

Costa also said the issue had been discussed by El Portal Principal Mark Vos and the Outlaws organization leadership, settling on a compromise agreement for this year.

“The President of the Outlaws organization and Mr. Vos came to a compromise last Friday that jerseys could be worn at home and playoff games this year and site staff will be working with the organization to control any bullying or harassment issues,” Costa said.

Reaction has been mixed, with some coming out in support of the middle school students being able to wear the jerseys and others indicating that coaches and leadership of the organization may be part of the problem when questionable incidents occur.

For now, though, the students will be able to wear their jerseys, the same as their high school counterparts.