Let Arlington high school students play sports!

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APS Superintendent Francisco Duran announced yesterday that winter high school sports are cancelled. Although there was no announcement regarding fall and spring sports, it is likely that those seasons will be cancelled too.

The benefits of team sports go far beyond exercise -- improved academics, teamwork, leadership, positive mentorships and overall improved mental health. For this school year, these factors are even more important as many Arlington teenagers are at home struggling with virtual learning and missing out on the normal activities of their high school years. We all know that there are risks from Covid-19, but studies show many long term risks to teenagers who are facing anxiety, depression and increased drug and alcohol use during this time.

Virginia teens waited patiently this fall watching their family and friends in other states hoisting trophies and earning college scholarships. They accepted a shorter sports season so our schools could figure out how to safely play sports later in the year. The VHSL worked tirelessly with Governor Northam and the VA Department of Health to outline how high school sports can be played safely. There are 39 pages of regulations. This was not done frivolously. But Dr. Duran has chosen to ignore the recommendations. 


All but a handful of states played fall sports without outbreaks and in many places where the Covid numbers are much higher than Arlington. Private and travel leagues have been playing sports in Arlington (and sometimes at APS schools!) and the rest of NOVA without major outbreaks. This has created a huge inequity. Travel sports are expensive. As the superintendent and school board of a county with large disparities of wealth, it is even more important that APS offer sports for those who cannot afford to play elsewhere.


Please bravely stand up and support your student athletes. #letAPSplay