About 50 students marched from Benson High School to Monday night’s Portland Public School Board meeting to protest potential cuts to their sports program next year–including football. It impacts more than just players, said the students. Sophomore Benjamin Gilmore told the Oregonian, without football there’s no homecoming dance, for instance.
A district decision last September put Benson’s football team at risk; if a high school can’t field a varsity, junior varsity and freshman team in a sport, that sport gets dropped. The trouble is, Benson’s enrollment has been capped at 850 students since 2010, and so it’s having trouble filling all three teams. Critics say without a football team, Benson will not only become less attractive to students but will lose a major focus of school life.