Governor Kim Reynolds says if a school district moves to virtual instruction because of fears about Covid spreading through crowded classrooms, then it makes sense to cancel sports and other extracurricular activities in the district.
Students from Des Moines and Ames Public School Districts marched to the governor’s mansion Monday to protest the suspension of their extracurriculars, including volleyball and football. Reynolds, who said she “played every sport imaginable” when she was in high school, calls this an unfortunate situation.
“I think if you’re saying your school is not safe for the children to be in there, then other school districts are calling us and saying: ‘We don’t want to take our students and bring them into there,’ and really the same should apply across the board,” Reynolds said earlier this afternoon.
The governor indicated if social distancing is the main concern from educators seeking to teach classes online, then she said they should be worried about the lack of social distancing in sports.
“Football…there’s a lot of impact going on there,” Reynolds added.
A judge is letting the Des Moines School Board’s lawsuit proceed that challenges the governor’s authority to determine when schools may shift classes online, but the judge has declined to issue a temporary injunction — so the school district is violating the state’s order to have students in the classroom this week. Reynolds expressed confidence the impasse between her administration and Des Moines Public Schools can be resolved.
“We’ll get there,” Reynolds said. “It’s been a crazy year.”
Reynolds made her comments in Atlantic, where she met with a non-profit group focused on improving Atlantic’s economic prospects.
(By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic; Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson contributed to the story.)