BATON ROUGE, La. — State Senator Cleo Fields on Monday wrote to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, asking them to bench teams, at least for the fall.
“I do not believe that conditioning activities can be conducted safely, much less drills, practice, and games,” Fields wrote. “There is simply too much close proximity involved to safely conduct these activities.”
“It is our responsibility to ensure that the health and safety of our children is placed above any athletic endeavor at any time or place,” Fields continued.
Late Tuesday afternoon, BESE responded, saying it doesn’t have the authority to call off sports for public schools. In a statement, the board says that decision is up to local school leaders and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
The LHSAA did not respond to a request for comment.
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At John Curtis Christrain School, a private school in River Ridge, Coach J.T. Curtis said he's moving along with practice as usual -- but as safely as possible.
“We're not doing team activity in terms of going 7 on 7 or working against each other in close proximity,” Curtis said.
He said he hopes teams from all schools can compete this year -- if not necessarily for the usual reasons.
“They are kids. And they are going to socialize,” he said. “I would rather them socialize in a structured environment where they're supervised.”