‘We cannot live in fear,’ student says as more NJ schools pause athletics
Concern over coronavirus continues to affect New Jersey schools, with two more districts suspending fall sports.
The Burlington City Board of Education moved its scheduled meeting up a week to Monday to reconsider its decision to not hold a fall sports and marching band season.
Several student athletes spoke to the board about the importance of athletics to them and the opportunities it presents, according to Burlington County Times coverage of the meeting.
Senior girls soccer player Emma Keefe said that play should be allowed because "we cannot live in fear and put our lives on hold forever" and pointed out that other schools will compete when the season begins in October.
After the students spoke, the board voted against stipends for football, soccer, field hockey and marching band, color guard and cheerleading coaches, ending the chance of playing fall sports.
Athletics at Gloucester Catholic High School in Gloucester were suspended for a week after a “large number of students" were advised to quarantine by public health officials,” according to a statement provided to the Cherry Hill Courier Post by the Diocese of Camden, which runs the school.
The statement did not disclose why the students were advised to quarantine. The Diocese did not immediately respond to a message from New Jersey 101.5 on Tuesday.
Acting Sparta schools Superintendent Patrick McQueeney said in a letter that five students tested positive for coronavirus even while the school was already on an all-remote schedule. In a letter on Sunday, McQueeney said three members of the football team or girls soccer team had tested positive for coronavirus
McQueeney said the school was working with the NJSIAA for guidance about quarantining. He did not say the if students were athletes.
Sparta High School suspended its football and girls soccer programs because of additional positive coronavirus tests.
Meanwhile, in-person instruction at Washington Township High School in Sewell, which had been delayed for a second time, will resume on Thursday, according to a letter Tuesday from Superintendent Joseph N. Bollendorf.
The high school had stayed on remote learning because of a gathering of 250 students, mostly seniors, with “much evidence to show that neither social distancing nor face coverings were in place” as well as close contact with “multiple” high school athletes who had tested positive, according to Bollendorf.
Sports and in-person school activities were also suspended.
WTHS had moved to all-remote learning as the school year got underway due to three staff members (two at Hurffville Elementary and one at the high school) testing positive.