NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — More dominoes are falling when it comes to schools reopening in the Delaware Valley. The superintendent of the Norristown Area School District announced Thursday that he’s suspending all fall sports in the district.
Earlier this week, Superintendent Christopher Dormer announced classes would be entirely online this fall for the Norristown Area School District. The district plans to hold all virtual classes until at least January.
“We don’t know what is the infection going to look like, how do they potentially spread amongst kids? What risks do we put the adults at?” Dormer said.
I am suspending all @NorristownASD fall sports for the 2020 season, to ensure the health and safety of students, staff, and community.
Please see information and letter sent to PAC, District One, and PIAA⤵️ pic.twitter.com/dZBeYyGSVq
— Christopher Dormer (@NASDSuper) July 30, 2020
Now his district is taking another step in the fight against COVID-19 — the first of its kind of any school district in the region.
“As superintendent, I have decided to suspend fall sports for the 2020 season,” Dormer said.
That means no practices, no games, no competitions. The bleachers will sit empty, the fields quiet. Dormer says it was a tough decision, but one he feels he had to make.
“If we don’t feel safe bringing kids back in our classrooms, I can’t have 22 guys piling on top of each other in the middle of a football field,” Dormer said. “Breathing, sweating, bleeding on each other. And the risk of infection.”
Online, reactions were mixed.
Some praised the decisions. Others, like one person who simply tweeted, “so sad for the kids… especially the seniors…”
“People have the right to be emotional about this, particularly seniors,” Dormer said. “Already on social media, people saying you just cost kids scholarships because they’re not going to get that look their senior year from a coach.”
The bottom line, Dormer says he doesn’t feel it’s safe to have students compete within six feet of each other, though he says his intention was not to be a trend-setter.
He expects other districts to cancel the fall sports season as well.