Eastchester non-resident private school students barred from town youth sports
An estimated 300 private school students in Eastchester are being told they can no longer play for youth leagues in town if they don't live there.
"It’s kind of upsetting to tell a five your old you can’t play T-ball with his friend," said Kevin Haskell.
Haskell's son attends a private Catholic school in Eastchester and his family lives in Bronxville, but his home is in a neighborhood zoned for Yonkers Public Schools.
He said the residency requirement goes against what he believes youth sports should be about.
"So much of youth sports is about creating relationships and a bond among your classmates and your neighbors," he said.
Parents we spoke to said the rule is discriminatory, some are petitioning for it to change.
"Really what it's about is exclusivity versus inclusivity and its sad that now they want to exclude all catholic and Lutheran private schools," said Jonathan Graves, whose son also attends a Catholic school in Eastchester, but his family lives in a neighboring community.
Eastchester Town Supervisor Colavita said the residency requirement has always existed, but is only now being enforced.
"This has been in effect for decades, back even when I was a player," he said during Tuesday night's town board meeting.
Colavita also said Eastchester youth leagues are swelling with participants and the town has limited field space for practices and games.
"Towns have the right to limit the use of town owned tax payer funded facilities to residents only," he said.
The rule does not apply to students in Eastchester's public school district.
Colavita said that's because leagues utilize the district’s facilities for practices and games.
One of the leagues impacted by the residency rule is the Tuckahoe Youth Association.
One of its co-presidents told News 12, historically about 10% of registrants are non-residents which equates to less than 40 kids.
The TYA board called the residency restriction disappointing and stated they hope there can be some reasonable compromise to this issue.