Lethbridge students host protest calling for return of school sports
Published Friday, September 25, 2020 9:33AM MDT
A protest outside the Lethbridge Public School District office on Sept. 24 calling for the return of school sports and extracurricular activities
LETHBRIDGE -- Students and parents gathered outside the Lethbridge Public School District office Thursday to protest the school division's decision to halt sports, and other extracurricular activities in response to COVID-19.
The protest included chants of "let us play" and "we want sports" and signs with "Hinshaw says yes, you say no" and "We need the arts" messages.
Parent representative Ryan Thomson says he feels both students and parents weren’t included in the decision.
"They are not allowing parents or student’s choice or decisions to be able to participate in activities that are facilitated through school," said Thomsong. "Though similar activities within our community are functioning according to the guidelines that have been laid out by Alberta Health."
Thomson said it's unclear as to what a relaunch of activities would entail if the guidelines are already out there before adding that it's important for kids to have sports and other extracurricular activities like art, sports, drama and anything else that brings them a sense of excellence.
"It teaches them life skills that they will need throughout their life to be good citizens and contribute to our community." said Thomson .
Clark Bosch, chair of the board of trustees for the Lethbridge School Division, says although he feels for the students, there are serious safety concerns. He referenced the two positive cases of COVID-19 at Chinook High School that placed 140 students and 20 per cent of the staff to quarantine.
"Those kids were in four different cohorts, that’s why it was 140 kids," explained Bosch. "Let’s just say, worst case scenario, the volleyball program at the high school I was principle of had about 60 kids involved. If there was a problem with COVID in a cohort like that, those 60 kids would be spread across the whole school."
Bosch adds that he hopes students will get some sort of sport season but there will likely be restrictions implemented.
The Lethbridge School Division is expected to review the decision again in late October.