Some parents upset after Wake County school system bans sports spectators from games

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Cheering fans at games is a thing of the past at Wake County Public School System for now.

The district announced Thursday that spectators will no longer be allowed at school sporting events in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Beth Roach’s son is a senior on the soccer team at Apex High School.

She says her son is devastated. Roach worries how the move will impact the future of the student athletes.

“Show us the science that says this is going to encourage the spread. You are taking away a financial opportunity for potentially underprivileged kids who need things like football and soccer to get to college. I think that’s really critical because if you don’t have spectators you can’t have coaches come watch them,” said Roach.

Kris Lee created a Facebook page titled WCPSS Parents Advocating to be Event Spectators in response to the districts decision. The page gained more than 500 supporters in less than 24 hours.

Lee has a sophomore on the Apex football team and says the decision will have negative social, emotional and physical impacts on the student athletes.

“My son has played football since he was five (and) I don’t think I’ve ever missed a game. It’s just heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for the kids and the parents. We love our kids and we want to see them have fun,” said Lee.

The district said they are working out livesteaming options for parents of the athletes. 

Allison Lersch who has a senior on the Apex Friendship High football team says eliminating spectators is taking things too far. 

“I mean if there was an injury on the field you know all of our kids are minors how are they going to address that,” said Lersch.

The parents say they will continue speaking out until their concerns are heard.

CBS 17 reached out to the district for comment on this story but no one was available at the time. 

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