Let Parents Watch Their Kids Play Sports: An Open Letter to Gov. Murphy, NJSIAA
Open Letter to Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey Department of Health, and the NJSIAA:
This “open letter” is addressed to you as a result of the growing frustration parents are feeling as related to the unnecessary “broad brush” restrictions of spectators not permitted at indoor athletic events. My position is that of a parent as well as a school administrator.
In short, I am asking that you consider the possibility for individual school districts to determine the safe and manageable capacity at which they can allow spectators and/or parents to attend indoor sporting events. I have a difficult time digesting the fact that a parent would need to beg and plead for permission to simply be in attendance to watch children/students participate in high school athletics but here we are…. why?
First, as a parent of two high school athletes, I am outraged that I am restricted from attending my children’s sporting events. My children’s school gymnasium has a seating capacity of well over 2,000. Why in the world would that school not be permitted to allow each team to safely admit a limited number of spectators? I find it unbelievably frustrating that, with one broad brush, all considerations of spectator attendance would be off the table. Please tell me why?
As a high school principal, my particular school gymnasium has a seating capacity of over 650. Why in the world would I not be able to safely allow a limited number of spectators? I find it insulting that our state leadership (in all capacities referenced above) will not allow me to utilize my administrative team’s professional judgment to determine a safe capacity at which we can allow our students’ families to attend their events. Why will you not allow me to do that?
What do we (as parents and/or school administrators) need to do to prove that we are capable of being responsible? Do you want to send out officials to “spot check” venues, please do….I would welcome them.
I am doing my best to remain on the topic of “athletic event spectators'' because the indoor athletic season is upon us. What also needs to be addressed is the much larger issue of imposed restrictions and how incredibly damaging it is for the social/emotional well being of the kids….and the adults…. but I will save that letter for another day.
Please do me this favor: ANYONE... in any of the offices addressed above, please explain this rationale to me; or please permit schools to safely admit spectators as their respective venues will allow.