An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

Atlanta Public Schools plans to focus on chronic absenteeism, missing any school, instead of truancy, unexcused absences. This takes the focus off of the legal process and onto the academic impact.
Georgia school districts deal with spiking chronic absenteeism
Brennan FrittsMay 16, 2024

Chronic absenteeism, a condition where a student misses 10% or more of a school year, has spiked in Georgia since COVID-19. Pre-COVID, Atlanta...

Lack of athletic trainer raises parent, player concerns

Lily Rachwalski
For the second year in a row, Midtown searches for an athletic trainer. Without an athletic trainer, athletic injuries are often not immediately identified during competitions.

Injuries play a major role in all high school sports and can even make or break a team’s season. However, Midtown is missing an athletic trainer, who helps remedy these injuries. 

Junior football player Noah Morrison believes that an athletic trainer would greatly benefit the school. Morrison has suffered numerous injuries throughout his career including a concussion and separated shoulder that put him out for a majority of this season.

“Injuries have made it to the point where the futures of mine and some other players are in doubt,” junior quarterback Morrison said. “Athletic trainers help you go through the process to recover every day consistently, whereas [with] a doctor, you can’t really go every day. With a trainer, you can go through concussion protocol in a week but without it can take much longer.”

Athletic Director Blair Barksdale said injuries greatly impact teams and players.

“ACL injuries are significant because those take you out for a while,” Barksdale said. “Concussions play a huge role, especially in sports where there can be contact. Overall, injuries take you out for a while and they play a big impact,” Barksdale said.

Morrison said an athletic trainer would be beneficial to the school.

“Having an athletic trainer helps, especially after injuries, so you can see them instead of having to pay for private healthcare,” Morrison said. “Having the school provide it would be nice, especially for people who don’t have the resources to get healthcare for injuries.”

Barksdale said Atlanta Public Schools has given the funding to search for an athletic trainer and the school is currently working on finding a trainer as soon as possible. She said she sees the importance of a trainer at the school.

“We are working to recruit and find somebody,” Barksdale said. “APS approved the funding for an athletic trainer to be housed at each high school. It’s us and two other [high schools] that currently do not have one. Athletic trainers are in a shortage right now, and we have protocols in place if we have an injured athlete.”

Morrison’s father Matthew Morrison said that as a parent, having an athletic trainer would be beneficial for their children.

“Noah’s been injured in baseball and football in high school, and it’s always tough for a parent to see their child get injured,” Matthew Morrison said. “It would be nice to have a trainer on the field for the injury and then for follow-up care.”

Currently there are options for students at the school but they are limited. Barksdale said the addition of a trainer will also make the jobs of the athletic director, coaches and players easier, especially in recovery periods.

“[Having an athletic trainer is] going to help greatly,” Barksdale said. “The communication will be handled through them. That’s an extra piece that is my responsibility right now. To have somebody in the building that can follow up during the day and go check on [athletes] in class and monitor them [is useful].”

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About the Contributors
Farris Duwayri
Farris Duwayri, News Associate Managing Editor
Farris Duwayri is a junior and this is his third year on the staff. He enjoys playing Midtown's football team and debate team. He likes cars and hanging out with friends
Lily Rachwalski
Lily Rachwalski, Website Managing Editor
Lily is a junior and is excited to start her third year with the Southerner. Apart from her writing with the Southerner, Lily is a Georgia Scholastic Press Association (GSPA) student ambassador, representing both the Southerner and Georgia journalism as a whole. She is an active member of Latin club and plays ultimate frisbee for both Midtown and cATLanta, Georgia's under-20 club team. In her free time, you can find her hanging out with friends and family.

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