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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Spokane School Board voted to forbid Spokane’s two high schools from playing athletic contests with schools outside the city – and the students were threatening to strike.

The board decided that games outside the city had become too expensive, too rowdy and too time-consuming. They said they “detracted from schoolwork.”

Students at both of Spokane’s high schools were angry and indignant.

Handbills protesting the decision were plastered on walls. Petitions were circulated and 400 signatures were gathered at Lewis and Clark High School alone. Talk of a “general strike” was rampant.

The captain of North Central High School’s football team resigned his position in protest following a stormy meeting of all of the lettermen.

The principal refused to accept his resignation.

The students weren’t the only ones who were angry.

“Prominent business men, bankers, public officials and professional men are almost unanimous in the expression of disapproval of the school board’s action,” said The Spokesman-Review.

One businessman called it “a sad mistake.”

Mayor W.J. Hindley said “intercity competition is to athletics what a generator is to the electric light – it’s a dynamic force.”