Eckwood rescinds transfer request from sophomore year

More athletes transfer between schools, no policy change in sight

Several students transferred to Har-Ber from Springdale High in the past weeks. Of the students who transferred, two played on the Springdale High School basketball team. Tavari Eckwood, a junior, enrolled at Har-Ber on March 14 following his mid-game walk off at the Bulldogs last home game. His enrollment at Har-Ber is not the result of a new in-district transfer request but a recension of the transfer to Springdale High that he filed as a sophomore.

When asked about why he chose to return to Har-Ber, Eckwood, explained “I have a lot of friends over here. I live right down the street, so it’s a lot more convenient for my parents. It’s just a better opportunity for me, a better opportunity for me to make it past high school.“

The second Bulldog player, junior Jajuan Boyd, transferred to Har-Ber on March 7.

“I transferred because I wanted to leave from Springdale, there’s really no reason,” Boyd stated. “At one point you just get tired of places.”

Boyd also briefly mentioned the presence of health problems, but did not elaborate.

According to an interview with soccer coach Leo Hernandez, two other students transferred over to Har-Ber from Springdale via domicile move and are currently playing boys soccer.

According to the Springdale School Districts in-district transfer policy, there are five valid justifications for a transfer: Family moved within the District, Family hardship, Personal reasons, District rezoned attendance areas, or Special curriculum or educational opportunities.

These transfers lie in the wake of recent controversy surrounding Har-Ber students transferring to Springdale High. Our coverage of such events and subsequent censorship was covered on national news.

Springdale School District’s Athletic Director, Wayne Stehlik, responded to an email inquiry concerning changes to the transfer policy with the following statement:

“As the Athletic Director for the Springdale Public School District, our team is always reviewing, evaluating and reflecting on how we can better serve our students,” Stehlik said. “Through this process, district administrators, building administrators, coaches and other leaders are involved in the conversation. The Springdale Public School District handles all transfers on an individual basis.”

“I have not been involved in that situation,” head basketball coach Scott Bowlin said, “or this policy that you are talking about.”

My opinion has been asked on what I believe the policy should look like,” said head football coach Chris Wood, when asked about his involvement in the policy change. “[Admin] just wanted my thoughts and suggestions.”

Springdale High School teacher Marjay Hignite published a 6047 word blog scrutinizing The Herald’s coverage of the transfer of the Har-Ber students over to Springdale. She declined to be interviewed.

Deputy Superintendent Jared Cleveland has not responded to our questions, nor has Superintendent Dr. Jim Rollins. Talks of numerous policy changes concerning transfer policies and student publication coalesced following the controversy. As of now, the student publications policy is the only policy being openly reviewed.

“Transfers happen for a variety of reasons,” Stehlik said. “Like other issues in the district, the transfer policy is being reviewed and evaluated. As we move forward, the district policies are designed to enhance the educational experience and connect more students to schools, programs and teachers.”