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3rd-Party Risk Report Allegedly Causes Tamalpais School District to Separate from High School MTB Racing Club

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5/14/2021 9:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/15/2021 3:10 PM

Was sent an email with a letter from Otis Guy (one of the founders of our sport in Marin county) about his disdain for the local school district disassociating from high school MTB. His claim is that a 3rd-party risk assessment is why the teams can no longer be affiliated with the schools. Without school affiliation, the clubs can't race NICA events.

The biker side of the story here - https://www.savemarinhsmtb.com/

If you have any insight or are local to the area, let us know in this forum post. We'll keep an eye on things as they progress with a District Rep meeting on May 25.

UPDATE May 15, 11:47am MST - Vital member dolface posted this response from the school board president below.
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A couple of folks who wrote to the board said they received this in response:

"The Board of Trustees has taken no action to eliminate mountain biking at any of our District campuses. The District administration continues to explore options regarding the structure of these teams with respect to the fact that mountain biking is not a CIF sanctioned sport. It was never the intention of the District or Board to disband mountain biking.

I am sorry for the confusion and I am optimistic a workable solution can be found. The District recognizes the value and importance of student participation in sports, and I understand the District staff will be providing further information soon.

Respectfully,

Leslie Lundgren Harlander

Board President, Tamalpais Union High School District"
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UPDATE May 15, 4:09 MST - more from the district, thanks to dolface for passing along
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"Dear Tam District Families,

It has become clear that there has been a lot of discussion in the community about our mountain biking teams. One week ago, District administration held a meeting with site administration, mountain biking team lead coaches and advisors to discuss the operation of the three teams and how to bring them in line with our current board policy and administrative regulation. The need for the discussion is that mountain biking is not a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF)-sanctioned sport and, historically, the District’s practice has been to sponsor only CIF sanctioned sports

During the meeting last week, the District heard feedback and continued to explore options regarding the operations of these teams. It was never the intention of the District or Board to disband mountain biking, however, it appears that not all present for the meeting left the table with the same understanding and some misinformation has gone out to the community.

The district is meeting again with those same administrators, coaches, and advisors in the coming week to further discuss ways to meet the shared goal of continuing to offer this valuable experience to our students and to structure the teams consistent with District policy, regulation, and values. We are optimistic we have a plan that will serve everyone’s needs.

The District will provide an update after the meeting mentioned above.

Respectfully,
Tam District Administration"
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5/14/2021 9:58 AM

Marin sounds like the worst place in the world to be a mountain biker. I’m always amazed at how terrible that place sounds.

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5/14/2021 1:54 PM

Ridiculous.

Here is the change.org link: https://tinyurl.com/4vy2vk6b

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5/14/2021 2:19 PM

Wouldn’t this program be the one that produced a world championship winning rider.

Why do school boards attract the most asanine of people.

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5/14/2021 5:19 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/14/2021 5:20 PM

No place hates mountain biking more than the birthplace of mountain biking.

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5/14/2021 5:35 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/14/2021 7:05 PM

TEAMROBOT wrote:

No place hates mountain biking more than the birthplace of mountain biking.

Genuinely true. First mountain bike racing and riding got started in Marin County, and then the county made almost all singletrack off-limits to bikers... Then, despite the county's long hostility to riders (except the ones on horses), its high schools helped start the NorCal League, which became NICA--and now the school district wants to shut it down. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

[Edit: I'm an alum of one of those teams & plan to attend the meeting on the 25th]

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5/15/2021 2:02 AM

They still got a HS football team, though?

If any fodder is needed on stats and causes of injuries...
https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=sports-injury-statistics-90-P02787

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5/15/2021 6:49 AM

A couple of folks who wrote to the board said they received this in response:

"The Board of Trustees has taken no action to eliminate mountain biking at any of our District campuses. The District administration continues to explore options regarding the structure of these teams with respect to the fact that mountain biking is not a CIF sanctioned sport. It was never the intention of the District or Board to disband mountain biking.

I am sorry for the confusion and I am optimistic a workable solution can be found. The District recognizes the value and importance of student participation in sports, and I understand the District staff will be providing further information soon.

Respectfully,

Leslie Lundgren Harlander

Board President, Tamalpais Union High School District"

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5/15/2021 7:44 AM

smelly wrote:

They still got a HS football team, though?

If any fodder is needed on stats and causes of injuries...
...more

Probably but there is a difference in that there are set rules from an state wide organization (CIF) that will also make a difference in getting insurance. There a specific rules on equipment insuring that it meets current safety standards. That is one of the big differences between the two sports. I remember we had a ski club and then someone got hurt in a ski club trip. Ski club disappeared. Part of the reason was there was no way to have insurance and they were not about to rely on a piece if paper saying no it’s ok from the parents. . Not saying one is safer or more dangerous but insurance and protection from lawsuit is more important. In my experience I would say that are about the same but one poses a much greater financial risk.

I know some of the local teams were getting donations of all kinds of equipment. What happens when that club team gives a bike to someone to use that had a failure? Who is responsible?

The reality is thus probably a huge CYA move and the district response kind of makes that apparent. Sucks for those kids. Just curious has any of the kids from those teams or surrounding areas districts been injured at practice or a race?

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5/15/2021 10:45 AM

dolface wrote:

A couple of folks who wrote to the board said they received this in response:

"The Board of Trustees has taken no action to ...more

thanks dolface! that's super helpful/informative - i'm going to post the response in the original post, too.

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5/15/2021 3:04 PM

More from the district:

"Dear Tam District Families,

It has become clear that there has been a lot of discussion in the community about our mountain biking teams. One week ago, District administration held a meeting with site administration, mountain biking team lead coaches and advisors to discuss the operation of the three teams and how to bring them in line with our current board policy and administrative regulation. The need for the discussion is that mountain biking is not a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF)-sanctioned sport and, historically, the District’s practice has been to sponsor only CIF sanctioned sports

During the meeting last week, the District heard feedback and continued to explore options regarding the operations of these teams. It was never the intention of the District or Board to disband mountain biking, however, it appears that not all present for the meeting left the table with the same understanding and some misinformation has gone out to the community.

The district is meeting again with those same administrators, coaches, and advisors in the coming week to further discuss ways to meet the shared goal of continuing to offer this valuable experience to our students and to structure the teams consistent with District policy, regulation, and values. We are optimistic we have a plan that will serve everyone’s needs.

The District will provide an update after the meeting mentioned above.

Respectfully,
Tam District Administration"

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5/19/2021 9:37 PM

TEAMROBOT wrote:

No place hates mountain biking more than the birthplace of mountain biking.

It reminds me of a George Lucas story line. Very Vader esk

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