State Rep. Timmy Beson, of Bay City, is urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to amend their unilateral orders and allow winter contact sports to resume in Michigan schools as was previously anticipated until the governor extended the pause last week.
“Bay County students, parents and administrators can and should be trusted to start winter sports back up,” Beson said. “As a parent, I’ve heard personally the stress in our community from other parents, coaches and students. Our kids have lost enough already through this pandemic. It’s safe to resume sports, so there’s no reason to take this from them, too.”
Eric Allshouse, superintendent at Essexville-Hampton Schools, shared his thoughts as well.
“I’m thankful Rep. Beson and other elected officials are supporting a safe, data-driven plan enabling students to resume all curricular and extracurricular activities which contribute to the overall well-being of all students.”
Craig Aimar, athletic director at Bangor Township Schools and John Glenn High School, said the following:
“Our student-athletes and coaches at John Glenn High School have done a remarkable job this entire school year to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes by following all COVID-19 protocols including playing in facemasks, conducting daily temperature checks and submitting to daily health monitoring checks.
“We are proud to share that we did not have any in-season confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 among any of our active student-athletes to date. The scientific data shared with athletic directors by the MHSAA indicates that high school competitive sports are extremely safe in relation to COVID-19 and are detrimental to the physical, mental and social well-being of our students. We sincerely hope our students are allowed to play as we continue to implement all safety measures necessary to combat this virus.”
Students in Bay County also reached out to Beson’s office with their concerns.
“I don’t get another chance, this season is all I have left to be a part of this team,” one high school senior said. “All the underclassmen get next year, but for us seniors this is all we have.”
Another shared: “Hearing the sport you’ve dedicated your life to be pushed back again and again, and at this point just hoping for a sliver of the normal season, is heartbreaking.”
Beson also pointed to the scientific data showing the extremely low likelihood of the COVID-19 virus being spread through contact sports.
“It disturbs me the governor doesn’t seem to care about Michigan athletes and students or their futures at all,” Beson said. “For some, their entire futures are at risk due to the governor’s reckless order.
“Kids who picked up the basketball in elementary school and carried on with the sport into their teens, with not just dreams but actual goals to turn their hard work into something even greater for their futures, are now being told their plans aren’t essential. How is any kid or parent supposed to just be OK with this? Especially when it’s safe for sports to resume. It’s very frustrating.”
Winter sports were scheduled to start Monday, Feb. 1 before the governor’s recent extended order banning contact sports until Feb. 21.
Rep. Beson, who owns a small, family-operated market in Bay County, says today’s House vote to end the $300 weekly federal pandemic unemployment benefit, will spell good news for small and local businesses struggling to stay afloat because of shortages of employees.
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