State Senate Education Chairman calls for canceling fall sports

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State Sen. Cleo Fields, the Baton Rouge Democrat who chairs his body’s education committee, is calling for the suspension of all K-12 athletic activities that involve in-person participation by students in a group setting for the upcoming fall semester, including conditioning, practice, team meetings and games.

Fields is asking Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Sandy Holloway to adopt a rule suspending all athletic activities for the fall semester at its upcoming special meeting, set for July 14.

He also asks the Louisiana School Boards Association to reach out to all local school boards and superintendents to request they voluntarily suspend fall athletic activities.

“I’m not for cancelling fall sports,” UPSD Superintendent Kristy Auger-Fine said Wednesday. “We do need to follow the governor’s guidelines, though. We may have to look at limiting travel squads and limiting the amount of fans at the games, but I don’t want to cancel the fall sports.”

Fields says athletic practices and games require too much close proximity to be conducted safely as long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“Currently, BESE does not have a rule in place to protect our student athletes,” Fields said. “I’m asking them to step up and take action to protect our children.”