Parents protest change to high school tradition due to COVID-19 concerns

Parents protest change to high school tradition due to COVID-19 concerns

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. — A last-minute change to a longtime tradition at Indian Land High School has infuriated some parents, so they reached out to Channel 9.

Friday night was homecoming and senior night at the school, which is when football players, cheerleaders and band members who are seniors are honored before the game. They walk across the field with their parents to be recognized.

“We’ve been looking forward to this for three years,” said Paige broom, who has a son on the football team.

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On Thursday, parents received an email from the school saying due to COVID-19 restrictions, senior student-athletes would not be escorted on senior night.

Parents reacted quickly and questioned why there was an issue with standing on a football field with their own child.

“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Broom said. “Why they wouldn’t allow us to wear masks, stay socially distanced and escort our seniors across the field?”

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Some parents voiced other concerns and told Channel 9 that the last football game, which was last week, was packed.

People were not social distancing in the stands.

Alex Dabney, the Lancaster County school district athletic director, said there was a large group of 75 to 100 students who were breaking the rules and not staying apart.

The issue was addressed for this week, he said.

“Trying to get students to stand six feet apart, and not form a traditional student section, that’s hard to do,” Dabney said.

On Friday, officials allowed parents to walk their seniors across the field to be honored after complaints to the school and the district office.

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Dabney said COVID-19 policies will come up and likely cause problems and controversies. However, he said the district is willing to listen to concerns and make changes when possible.

“Just be patient with us and work through it with us,” he said. “We’re not gonna get it perfect the first time, but we’re trying to keep everybody safe to the best of our ability.”

Some Lancaster County parents, seniors angry over graduation plans