After much pressure and avocation by the Sweet Home community, the Sweet Home Board of Education has officially voted in favor of allowing low and moderate-risk sports teams to resume practice.
Last night the board held a special meeting to take comments and determine the fate of the Fall Sports season. The three votes held which passed allowed majority of the Fall Sports to begin as early as September 26th for low-risk sports and September 28th for moderate-risk.
This decision came after multiple stories, commitments and comments from multiple teachers, parents and student-athletes. Jacob Wilson, a captain of the Boys Varsity Soccer team had pleaded with the board, stating that the teams would “do whatever” including wearing masks while playing if it allowed for them to start their season. Wilson had also mentioned during his 3 minutes that the Kenmore Soccer Club had played 157 soccer games this summer, and not one game had a case of COVID-19 linked to it. You can watch Wilson’s comments to the board here.
The vote wasn’t without much push back from multiple board members. Member Marianne Jasen had expressed that she was ok with low-risk sports but not moderate-risk sports as she has “3200 kids to think about, not just the number of kids playing sports. I do not want to put our 3200 students at risk.” Along with her, member Kailey McDonald expressed concern for playing moderate-risk sports. “I’m worried that by adding sports unmasked and without social distancing on top of this tenuous balance that we’re threatening our school’s reopening plan. We cannot predict the future.”
Member Nadine Ocasio voted against both low-risk & moderate-risk sports, but voted to allow swimming. She stated that “I can’t trust that their (other districts) carelessness won’t come back and affect our children. And that is why I cannot vote for athletics, that is why I voted to not add the addendum to the agenda tonight.”
At the end of the night, athletes and parents walked away happy. The majority of the board had approved most sports, with the exclusion of modified sports to start by the 26th. More details regarding the plan can be found on the district website.