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Brooklyn High School Introduces Stricter Academic Standards, Dress Code For Student-Athletes

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The principal of a Brooklyn high school announced a new student-athlete policy Friday that will require higher academic standards and mandatory community service.

The Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant will enact the Scholar Athletic Policy for all students participating in sports teams. Among the academic requirements in the policy is a stipulation that seniors pass all classes each marking period and keep a GPA of 70 percent or better.

"Last year, we were the city champions in basketball for the second year in a row. I realized that although we won the championship, that some of the players were not champions in the classrooms," Principal Bernard Gassaway told 1010 WINS.

Sophomore and junior students would be allowed only one failing grade per marking period. Sophomore scholar-athletes must pass at least two Regents examinations prior to the beginning of their season, while junior scholar-athletes must have passed four Regents exams.

In addition to the academic benchmarks, the requirements also say that all athletes must do 30 hours of community service and adhere to a dress code.

"It's about building character, you know, that's the first part of our policy that we have. So we want to build scholarship, citizenship, but character," Gassaway said. "Boys and Girls High School student athletes -- you're not to see them walking the streets with their pants down, if they are down, you won't be playing basketball at Boys and Girls High School."

The school is the oldest public high school in Brooklyn and sports greats, including Lenny Wilkins and Connie Hawkins, have attended it.

Gassaway said the new rules have the support of parents and he believes the policies will ultimately help attract stronger students.

"When I think about Boys and Girls High School or the historic Boys High and Girls thing that was consistent among all of their athletes is that they were scholars. Somehow, we've moved away from that and I'm very interested in moving back to that," he said.

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