We Stand Together-Let Them Play

We Stand Together-Let Them Play

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Melissa Petrashewicz started this petition to Palmer School Committee

The majority of teams in Western MA have chosen to move forward with playing, including, our neighboring town, Monson. The state of MA, MIAA has approved fall sports with modifications. Why would we not allow our kids to play? Referees are there to manage the process and the guidelines that have been given to allow us to have a season. What exactly did the sub-committee look into and consider?  There are so many questions and issues that were not brought up or considered in this decision. 
 
Why Fall 2 is not an option.
The way that the proposal was presented, it led people to believe that Fall 2 was a viable option- but who would we play against? As mentioned above, many of our peer towns are choosing to move forward with Fall soccer- who would be left to play in Fall 2 if our competition is playing in Fall.
Our fields are grass; we have no option to play on grass in the winter, as we are unable to plow fields.
Turf fields are what you would need to play on (so that they can be plowed if and when we get snow.) Playing on grass fields is not an option in February/March; our only option is Turf, which we do not have.
Playing on frozen, wet, grass fields is not safe for our student-athletes, we don't even let them play on Duke or Legion when there is to much rain.
We live in New England - the months of February and March weather is unpredictable, and the sport is not equipped to play this time of year- hence why there is a lull in between winter and spring season. Even the uniforms are not appropriate for this weather. 
Games would need to play under the lights (daylight savings- it gets dark at 4 pm) When would you fit all teams to practice with light?
Kids are already playing soccer- and stopping them from playing in Palmer, will not stop them altogether – so we should just let them play. Many of our high school athletes are playing on premier teams and have resumed playing. 
Case counts in Western MA are low and have continued to be low.
Our neighboring states have been approved to play sports, as well as neighboring towns.
There is no structure or anything assembled that would outline what fall 2 would look like- we are banking on a "maybe" situation.
According to the press release on August 18, 2020, the MIAA stated that in working in close consultation with a variety of stakeholders and our medical advisors and based on the Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Guidance recently provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) have collaborated to provide modified sports schedule for the school year 2020-21 and guidance for sports participation for students.
 
All of this being said, it’s important to note that the MIAA worked closely in consultation with medical advisors to provide modified guidance that would help in keeping our kids safe. They also said Sports can be an important part of a well-rounded educational experience, even during the current public health crisis. The School Committee took into account from the Parents 70% to go Hybrid but did not seek Parents' feelings on Sports.  The Athletic Director and Trainer did not seek Parents or Coaches on what they would like as a season for their kids. 
Many of the students are playing sports in some capacity. Many of the students are going back to school a few days a week. Many of the student-athletes have hung out all summer together and worked jobs. The student-athletes want to step on that field this fall. With all due respect, I am asking that you allow the families and athletes to make that decision, but please don’t make the decision for all of us. 

 
Kind Regards,
Nickey Rathbone
Amanda Theriault
Melissa Petrashewicz
David Denault
Rhonda Costa 
Karyn Perry 

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