Akron Board of Education reverses decision, now allowing contact and non-contact sports this fall

Coronavirus

AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — The Akron Board of Education reversed two earlier decisions, and voted to allow contact and non-contact sports to proceed in the district. The 4-to-3 vote Monday evening also allows the resumption of practice and limited performance of high school marching bands.

Board member Dr. Derrick Hall says intense public response led to several board members scheduling a special meeting to address the issue. The board had previously voted to stop football and marching band activities, which had already begun practicing over the summer. The move was done in response to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. 

Classes for the upcoming school year will still be conducted remotely.

Several board members said two protests and several petitions with thousands of signatures from parents and students led them to reconsider.

“At no point did the health department say no or yes to playing sports,” said Hall.

During the meeting, board members who opposed a return to sports read emails from concerned parents and students. 

“I personally am not willing to sacrifice my education for full sports,” recited board member Dr. N.J. Akbar, reading an email from a high school football player in the district.

“What I can’t understand is why we can’t make a decision that is a better public health choice,” said board member Valerie McKitrick.

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