Saginaw Township Community Schools reverses course, shortening pause for athletic teams to April 17
A group of parents and student athletes took to the streets on Monday afternoon to voice their concerns about pausing athletics for two weeks
SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - There’s growing pushback as schools across Michigan try adjusting to what’s become the largest COVID-19 surge in the country.
On Monday night, one Mid-Michigan school reversed course after originally following Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request to pause youth sports and in-person learning for two weeks. Saginaw Township Community Schools just voted to resume outdoor sports more than a week early.
For school districts like Saginaw Township Community Schools, plans to pause in-person learning and athletics went into effect on Monday, but it wasn’t sitting well with one group of parents.
“These boys are doing what they’re supposed to. I know they’re starting to get their immunizations. They’re wearing their mask. They’re social distancing. At practice, they do everything that’s required of them. They wear their masks. They do whatever is required of them, and they’re getting punished,” Marcia Konuszewski said.
A group of about twenty parents and student athletes came together on Monday afternoon, taking a stand against the decision.
They started off on a busy Center Road, hoping to show how pausing athletics is impacting their mental health.
“Baseball has kind of been my fallback. My release, and for that to be taken away mentally it does drain you,” Senior, Mitchell Smith said.
The group moved to Arrowwood Elementary School where the board met to discuss the plan and hear community members explain not only the importance of their mental health, but why they believe it’s safe to continue spring sports. Those reason included weekly testing, playing outdoors rather than indoors, and using their own equipment in sports like softball, baseball, and lacrosse.
The school board agreed.
“I’m just going to encourage the student athletes again if this is something we can resume, please use social responsibility, and that means after games, don’t go to Applebee’s together. Just do all those things, so we can keep you guys playing,” School Board Member Jenean Coughlin said.
The school board voted 6-1, in favor of reversing course to resuming outdoor sports for grades 7-12 on Saturday, April 17 instead of Monday, April 26.
COVID-19 testing will resume this week.
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