FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A group of Fresno County public school parents and their students say they have had enough of coronavirus-related closures and want to get back to representing their schools taking part in team sports.
Nick Papagni helped organize Fresno’s “Let Them Play Rally” and says the student-athletes he speaks to are itching to play again.
“Right now, the message is: to Californians, to our governor, we want to play and there are 900,000 athletes out there and we are saying this is enough,” said Papagni.
Papagni said this rally is happening statewide. He believes it is important to keep kids active especially since distance learning has been a struggle for some students.
“They are giving up and the parents are sending me 300 emails a week from parents and students asking me ‘Papagni: what do we do get us back playing’,” said Papagni.
However, COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high nationwide and according to the state, the Fresno County rate is close to 20% per 100,000 tested.
In a statement, Fresno Unified defended its decision to temporarily suspend all student cohorts, including athletics, citing soaring COVID-19 case numbers and the fact the Fresno remains under a shelter at home order.
Fresno Unified joins coaches, student-athletes, and their families in wanting to get back to school and the playing field, but it must be done in a way that doesn’t further escalate the dire health conditions facing Fresno County and our healthcare system or jeopardize the health and safety of our Fresno Unified family.
We continue to encourage our community to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including following safety practices and getting vaccinated so that soon, we can welcome students back to campus.Fresno Unified School District
Fresno Unified School District says it is waiting until Fresno County is in the Orange Tier to then bring back students for in-person learning. District officials say they will then consider their options bringing athletics back too.