ERLANGER, Ky. — Parents and students have gathered outside the Erlanger-Elsmere board of education building in response to the district announcing it will not participate in high-contact or close-proximity sports this fall.
The decision was passed down from the district’s superintendent after the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) voted to move forward with fall athletics, including high-contact and close-proximity sports, on August 20.
Superintendent Chad D. Molley said in a letter to parents that the KHSAA did not try to make adjustments that would protect student athletes.
“If the KHSAA Commissioner and Board of Control truly wanted our fall athletes to have a season this school year, there were many other options available for them to implement other than a business-as-usual approach,” Molley said.
Molley cites the KHSAA’s guidance document, which he said contradicts their decision to allow close-contact sports.
“It is thought by our medical advisors that these droplets can land in the mouth or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about six feet) for the times specified by the CDC. Rise mitigation strategies should be aimed at reducing the likelihood of a person being exposed to respiratory droplets coming from another person.”
The release mentions football and volleyball as close-proximity sports. It is unclear if these are the only two fall sports the decision will impact.
Molley said he is still committed to offering students access to extra-curricular activities that can operate safely. Elrlanger-Elsmere schools can continue to allow fall sports to conduct sessions using the KHSAA Segment Three guidance, which includes screening and exclusion, masking, social distancing, hand hygiene and 10-person pods.
The district said they are developing a calendar to begin working with the middle school fall athletes following the KHAA Segment 1, 2 and 3 guidance.