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Parents ask how it's safe enough for sports but not classes

Parents are split on what the AHSAA's decision to start sports on time means. Some feel that classes should resume if sports have been given the OK.

Posted: Jul 24, 2020 8:36 PM

Today some parents told us the Alabama High School Athletic Association dropped the ball in its decision to let sports start.

All three public school districts in Madison County already announced online-only learning for nine weeks because of coronavirus and for some parents, playing sports this year is just not worth it for their kids. Others feel that it’s hypocritical on their district’s part and are saying if kids can play sports, then schools should be open.

The Schutz family is trying to make sense of it.

“I mean, if we’re leaving it up to state, it seems like the state is saying ‘Ok open up.’ If we’re leaving it to local, local is trying to shut us down,” Jacqueline Schutz said.

The family’s children run cross country for Huntsville City Schools and just want consistency from the people who are paid to make decisions.

“It’s contradictory from the decisions that the school board is making, it’s contradictory from what a lot of parents’ decision making is,” Ashlee Laughter, another Huntsville schools’ parent, said.

Other parents are upset with the plan for other reasons.

Eric Broyles doesn’t want his 13-year-old daughter playing volleyball at Liberty Middle School this year.

“Absolutely not, it’s not worth it,” he said. “What’s the possibility of this infecting a dad or a mom or a grandma or a sick aunt, a Sunday school teacher, a grocery store worker? Whatever - and is it really worth that risk?”

Friday, no one with Huntsville, Madison City or Madison County schools was available to answer Broyles’ question.

The state board of education left the decision to the AHSAA, who passed the buck to local school districts to make final calls.

During a Thursday press conference, AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese made it clear that the decision to play ultimately comes from home.

“Unless health officials shut down schools, as well as all outside activities, the choice will remain with the parents,” he said, adding that schools can also opt-out with no penalty.

According to reopening plans for Huntsville and Madison City Schools, campuses are currently open for extracurricular activities, including sports.

Huntsville’s plan cited Gov. Ivey's May 21 order in its decision to participate in extracurriculars.

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