Decatur High suspends athletics practice, cancels games through Sept. 25
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Decatur, GA — A newsletter sent to Decatur High parents on Aug. 4 says that all athletics activities are moving to a virtual environment and all games are canceled through Sept. 25.
While City Schools of Decatur are set to start virtually on Aug. 17, until today school athletics teams – like the football team – were allowed to hold physical practice and has planned to start the season on Sept. 4, which was already a two-week delay from the usual start of the season. The Georgia High School Association, which regulates athletics in the state, has published safety guidelines for schools to follow.
Many parents questioned why it was safe to hold physical practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was unsafe to send children to school.
But CSD has determined that it’s best to end in-person practices for now.
“Athletics, activities, and clubs will be moving to the virtual environment,” the letter to parents says. “We will be working with coaches and activity sponsors to brainstorm ways to continue building teams and communities through online activities. We are well aware of the mental health benefits of such interactions, especially when they can be done in person, and do not make this decision lightly. Principals are working with their staff to brainstorm additional clubs and activities that we can offer virtually. We will provide details of such opportunities once they are set. At this time, all scheduled athletic events through September 25th are canceled. Mr. Thomas, CSD Athletics and Activities Director, will communicate if or when these games or meets will be made up later in the season.”
In the letter to parents, the School District said there have been no virus transmissions due to these practices.
“Our attempts to safely engage in various in-person activities have gone well, in that we have not had any known virus transmissions, but we have recognized that it is quite challenging for individuals to implement safety protocols with fidelity,” the letter says. “Human nature is clearly something that will continue to be a challenge, but with virus levels and transmission in the state they are in our area, continuing with in-person activities is not the responsible course of action.”
The letter says that school district leaders are skeptical of the recommendations they are receiving regarding student health.
“It is unfortunate, but we are unable to consistently rely on data and recommendations we receive from government institutions charged with public health because those data and recommendations are being heavily influenced by politics rather than science,” the letter says. “We will continue doing our best to distill the often conflicting information provided to us while we attempt to balance the risks of continuing virtually with the risks of meeting in person.”
To read the full letter, click here.
DeKalb County Schools recently suspended football practice at Lakeside High following a positive COVID-19 test.
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