Wichita school board approves varsity letters for special needs athletes

Jolinda Kelley and her son Michael were pleased with the result of a Wichita school board vote to allow special needs athletes who meet certain guidelines to be awarded regular varsity letters.  

Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle

From the Department of Common Sense and Goodness Prevail: The Wichita school board got it right.

Remember Michael Kelley, the Wichita East student who was told to remove a varsity letterman jacket his mother had bought? Michael played on the school’s special needs basketball team, but Wichita East’s rule at the time was that such athletes did not meet requirements for a varsity letter.

Not anymore. The board on Monday night approved new guidelines that allow athletes in the Tri-County Athletic League, a league for Wichita-area students with special needs, to receive varsity letters, just like the other kids at school.

Jolinda Kelley, Michael’s mother, led a campaign for the school district to make the rule change.

"I apologize that it had to come to this," she told The Wichita Eagle on Monday. "We tried to go through all the regular channels."

No apology necessary.

You can follow Mike Nahrstedt on Twitter at @MikeNahrstedt or email him at mike.nahrstedt@foxsports.net.