HARRISBURG – House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) joined 62 other Pennsylvania House Republicans in writing to Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Agency (PIAA) to request a change in recent policy prohibiting spectators at PIAA events, including parents of athletes.
“At a time when folks have had the five-months-long experience of social distancing and protecting themselves and others from a contagious virus, it makes no sense that people might be less safe sitting in the football stands or around the high school track at a soccer match, with appropriate modifications, than in the aisles of their local mega retailer,” the letter to Gov. Wolf reads.
“On July 31, 2020, you reminded Pennsylvanians that you are looking to keep decisions as to school reopening local, saying, ‘School governing boards and administrators will determine if school buildings reopen and if classes resume in person, remotely, or a combination of the two.’ Should not similar allowances be made for whether spectators should be allowed at a local school’s sporting events?”
In the letter to the PIAA, the members said:
“The parents of these students have supported their children and, oftentimes, the school sports team in various ways during the student’s journey and there is a deep satisfaction from the ability to watch their loved ones compete in something they value. While we understand that you feel constrained by the Governor’s orders in this regard, we wish to remind you that PIAA is an independent agency that has the ability to think outside the box to come up with a commonsense solution that can allow both sports to proceed as normal while, at a minimum, allowing parents of students to watch their loved ones in person.”
Editor’s note: Copies of the letters can be found attached to the email accompanying this press release.