Parents Plead With CMS Board Members To Allow For Student Athlete Practices

CHARLOTTE, NC – Parents of Charlotte Mecklenburg student-athletes speaking at the CMS school board meeting Tuesday night. They were pushing for a return to in person practices and workouts. 

“They just want something to grab a hold to,” said Jeff Taylor, a CMS parent. 

Taylor was pleading with the district to allow student-athletes to return to practices. 

“I would feel better as a parent if the kids were social distancing and wearing masks and led by coaches. Those relationships are big,” said Taylor. 

Other parents say they are worried about teenagers and idol time away from instruction and routine. 

“It’s nerve-wracking every day with these teenagers trying to get them to make the right choices and observe health guidelines,” said Nadija Golden.

The NCHSAA allowed for practices and workouts to resume, but the individual district needed to approve. That hasn’t happened at CMS. While the competition schedule still hangs in limbo, parents say they worry about long term impacts on students remaining isolated from their teams and activities.  

“There are so many more benefits than risks in allowing these athletes to return to practice,” said Julie Knafelz, a parent of two high school student-athletes. 

She says mental health is as much of a worry as physical health. 

“By restricting sports and other extracurricular activities, these students are facing a higher risk of depression,” said Knafelz. 

11% of North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases have been in kids 17 or younger. 

State medical experts caution about the return of group sports saying virus transmission happens when there is close contact and in groups. 

While some school board members share similar concerns and feelings about opening athletic fields and group practices, no decisions were made during tuesday’s meeting. 

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is expected to make an announcement on the rest of the fall sports calendar in the coming days. It’s possible seasons will be canceled altogether.