UPDATE: By 4-1 vote, the Washington Township school board has voted to lift the suspension of the fall athletic season. North Central High School sports teams, as well as middle school teams, are cleared to compete, for now.
INDIANAPOLIS — Twice the Washington Township School Board in Indianapolis has considered the question of allowing fall sports to proceed this upcoming semester. Both times the board has opted to suspend the season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, more pressure from both students and their parents has the board once again revisiting the topic.
The school board will meet virtually this morning at 8:00 to discuss whether or not they will allow the fall sports season to move forward at North Central High School and all middle schools within the school district.
“The biggest challenge for Washington Township is that all of the other schools are, at this time, practicing and competing and this is hurting our township to not have sports,” said Tracy Vatensval, a parent of a Washington Township student, to WISH-TV.
The decision to discuss fall sports in the district for the third time comes on the heels of the IHSAA opting to give its blessing for the fall season to proceed as planned for all contact and non-contact sports.
The Marion County Health Department is not making a decision on fall sports in the county yet, which, for now, allows schools to hold practice and compete as planned.
“I’d just like them (the board) very carefully about the decisions to be made,” Vatenval added. “Not just because I want them to say ‘yes’ and because other schools are doing it, but because I believe it can be done safely.”
Washington Township is the only district in the state to have suspended its fall sports season.
At this point, for Vatenval, she feels the mental health implications the shutdown of sports has on students is much greater than the implications of the coronavirus pandemic.