A draft policy that would require gender-based chaperoning of sports teams has quickly become a sticky topic for the regional high school district committee, which saw a meeting come to an abrupt end this week after a committee member walked out leaving no quorum.

Another meeting is scheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. in the regional high school library.

On the agenda will be a policy proposed by two school committee members earlier this month as an addition to the school athletic handbook that would require a chaperone of each gender to travel with sports teams when appropriate. For example, the girls’ basketball team which has male coaches, would be required to travel with a female coach or chaperone. The field hockey team, which has one male player and female coaches, would be required to have a male chaperone.

At a school committee meeting Tuesday, a group of current and former high school athletes questioned the policy.

“I have five male coaches and not a single female coach,” said senior track star Mackenzie Condon. “I trust them and I feel like I’ve received amazing coaching from them.” Ms. Condon said she has traveled off-Island often for track meets she qualified for on short notice.

“If I needed a female coach to come with me and Joe [Schroeder, the track coach] to the meet that I qualified for two days before it was happening, that might be really hard to do, and by the end of the season a lot of the meets were really last minute . . . I can’t imagine how detrimental that would have been to my season and a lot of my teammates,” she said.

“You would never say girl students can only be taught math by a girl math teacher,” said senior field hockey and lacrosse player Addy Hayman. “A great teacher is great because they are educated and well-versed in what they are teaching.”

“I feel as though as high school students, we’re at the age where we don’t really need chaperones to travel with us,” added former hockey player Kylie Hatt.

The students also read aloud text message statements from other athletes who couldn’t attend the meeting.

Science teacher and boys varsity basketball coach Mike Joyce said student safety is always a priority. — Holly Pretsky

Boys’ varsity basketball coach and science department chairman Mike Joyce, and girls’ hockey coach and guidance counselor John Fiorito shared similar concerns and said their first priority is always safety of students.

Mr. Fiorito said he asked athletic directors from around the Cape about chaperoning policies and had not heard about any other school requiring gender-based chaperoning.

“I truly never realized that was ever going to be a discussion,” Mr. Fiorito said. “There have been fewer things that I have been more fired up about.”

Mr. Joyce said he had tried to understand why the policy was proposed in the first place.

“My first kind of knee-jerk reaction was that something must have happened there must have been an incident, but when I spoke with administration . . . that wasn’t the case,” said Mr. Joyce, who has coached girls basketball in the past. He added: “The trips and the games are the least likely place for a student to be put in awkward or uncomfortable position just because of nature of them. Students are interacting with the coaches five, six days a week at practice for two, three hours oftentimes in a less public place, and I think we put a lot of trust in our coaches to be supportive of students.”

After hearing from athletes and coaches, committee member Robert Lionette, originally a supporter of the gender policy, suggested the committee rearrange its agenda and vote on the athletic handbook as is.

“Given that there is an interested audience,” he said, “I’d recommend that we push it forward.”

But committee member Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd objected, saying the topic had not been properly outlined in the agenda, potentially depriving members of the public the opportunity to air their views. He said because the committee had taken a vote on the athletic handbook at the previous meeting, which was cut short when one member had to leave abruptly, it gave the impression they would not bring it up again.

“I think anybody who was at that [previous] meeting and saw this posted would draw the conclusion that that item would not be addressed because we took a vote . . . it would be unfair and untransparent if we were to move forward and deliberate this,” he said.

Others argued that the item had been listed under the principal’s report. But Mr. Manter was unconvinced.

When committee member Janet Packer tried to return to the agenda item, Mr. Manter stood up and walked out.

“I may never come back,” he said from the door.

With only five of the nine committee members left, there was no quorum.

Committee members implored the camera operator from MVTV to turn off the camera and vented frustration as principal Sara Dingledy handed out research on policies from other schools.

“We can certainly carry on a discussion. I want to honor the time and effort that these student athletes and these two coaches have honored us in the middle of August,” Mr. Lionette said. The committee did not actively discuss the research Ms. Dingledy distributed.

“Everything we’re doing right now is legal. We don’t have a quorum. We are a group of people sitting here sharing information,” committee member Kris O’Brien said.

Assistant superintendent Richie Smith apologized to the students in the room before the group began to disperse.

“We are your school leaders and it’s a shame that this has come to this,” he said.

Items on the agenda not addressed included a vote on an owner’s project manager for the school track project and discussion on an application to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

The committee will meet again Monday to take up those and other items.