Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Blair Gym Towel Fee - Alive and Still Illegal

Imagine my surprise when I went to check the Blair HS PE website this afternoon.

Remember - the Blair gym towel fee was the public face of the curricular fee issue last fall.

We thought the fee had disappeared. Its in the MCPS policy. We cheered.

Oops, MCPS fooled us again.

The Blair towel fee is alive and well, and still on the Blair website. Its a new website from last year, so claims of the fee being old just doesn't cut it with this writer.

From the website as of 5 PM today (9/17/2009):

Physical Education at Blair Information

(en espaƱol)

Due to the nature of physical education courses, there are some special policies, expectations, and items-of-note regarding Blair's physical education courses. If you or your child is enrolled in Blair P.E., please take a moment to examine the information below.

I. Mission

Physical Education will provide an individualized, developmentally appropriate, and personally challenging instructional program that advances the student's knowledge, confidence, skills and motivation to engage in a lifelong, healthy, active lifestyle.

The benefits derived from the physical education program depend upon the amount of effort and positive attitude which a student displays. In order to provide for a variety of student needs and interests, the program is divided into two main components: General Physical Education and Specialized Physical Education.

. . .

IV. To begin each semester, students will need to

  • pay a $4.00 towel fee,
  • bring an appropriate change of clothing,
  • bring appropriate athletic shoes,
  • bring a water bottle,
  • be issued a personal, Physical Education locker.

Its also still illegal, and now its contrary to MCPS policy too.

Wake up, Mr. Williams and the PE department. Stop charging the students.

Watch this space for additional developments. We hope you don't have to wait long for a resolution.


UPDATE 9/18/09 at 3:30 P.M.: Blair High School deleted Towel Fee from website.
Here is what the website used to look like:

And if you click this link you will see the revised webpage without the $4 towel fee.


  1. If asked, I personally would not mind paying the $4.00 fee for the entire semester.

  2. I doubt that they are even charging, just a copy/paste oversight when creating the new site. Did they confirm your charges before you posted on this site?

  3. @ anonymous: That's great. True, some people don't mind when their wallet is stolen. But in either case it is against the law. It is against the law in Maryland to charge students to attend public school classes and it is against the law to steal.

  4. @7:04 anonymous - (same one as 7:02 with a second comment):

    Cut and paste error? Really. But you must know that school administrators spent hours and hours in training this summer to fully understand the MCPS policy. Administrators were then to spend hours and hours training staff. Clearly, the message hasn't gotten out as needed and the Board of Education Policy Committee was given a much rosier picture of "training".

  5. - what does the school have to say about the web site content? Did anyone bother to ask them directly instead of posting the question on a message board?

  6. @ Anonymous (from 2:25 PM & AM) See update to article. The fee has been deleted.


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