Get Our Student Fans Back in the Stands
As parents of Harrison High School students, we have witnessed our students being unfairly harassed and restricted while attending school activities, particularly football games. Our student section has been singled out above the rest of the fans. All fans receive a health screening before they are allowed to enter the stadium. Once inside, general admission fans are free to sit in small groups. Our students are forced to not only wear a mask but must stay 6 feet apart at all times, including keeping 6ft apart from the friends they arrived with or normally spend their free time with. They have been yelled at for moving off of their "dots" for simply changing places or to try to hear a friend attempting to communicate through their mask 6 feet away.
This has resulted in the student population no longer attending what has been a beloved tradition, Friday night football games. Our senior students and student athletes are being denied the chance to celebrate the traditions they have long looked forward to. They are not being allowed to come together as a community which is so important in forging friendships and gaining their sense of independence. Our football players have been demoralized by the lack of support. Our cheerleaders are cheering to empty stands. Hoya Nation has been unfairly harassed to the point of leaving the game to avoid further escalation with faculty. The students want to come to the games. They want to cheer for their classmates. They have been patient and respectfully tried to request a more reasonable response from our school leadership. As parents, we have been patient, understanding that Covid restrictions have been very difficult for our teachers and school staff as well as our students, but we fear that this respectfulness and patience is being misinterpreted as "resilience" and an understanding that these restrictions will continue. It is not.
None of these strict measures adopted by Harrison faculty are effective in preventing the spread of the virus. As you can see from the photos below, other schools in Cobb county, which have the same guidelines, are not imposing such extreme restrictions. Harrison High School is alone in their drastic measures. We have continued to see our virus cases decline county-wide. Neighboring counties do not have such extreme restrictions and have not seen any increases in cases, let alone cases that could be tied to these outdoor activities. The rest of our stadium is not sitting in this manner. The visitor's student section is not sitting in this manner.
Starting with the next home game, as parents, we are requesting that our students be allowed to sit in the same manner as the rest of the fans attending the game. We are requesting that they sit in groups of four or with the same individuals they arrived with. Another acceptable option is for our students to be allowed to fill every other row. We want to continue to encourage the students to wear masks, but allow noise-makers and other items that the students can use to cheer for their classmates in the stands. We want our kids to be able to enjoy their traditions.