Wake County Schools

Wake parents push to attend children's sporting events

Posted November 9, 2020 11:53 p.m. EST

— More than 1,000 Wake County Public School System parents are fighting against the school system's decision to ban spectators from attending sporting events.

It was a decision that parents said is more harmful than healing.

"We have a 15-year-old sophomore who is playing football at Cary High," said parent Katie Blalock.

Blalock’s favorite part of watching her son Brady is cheering him on during a big play, but she also likes being there to watch out for him, which is exactly what he needed last season after a serious hit.

"The helmet hit my son's back, and so, he was laid out for about three minutes on the field," she described. "The athletic trainer was like, 'He says he's OK. It's your decision.' I said, 'Let's just stay out. We only have about 10 more minutes of the game -- better safe than sorry.'"

Her motherly intuition turned out to save her son.

"Come to find out, he had two broken vertebrae," Blalock said.

Whether for safety reasons or otherwise, more than 1,000 parents, like Blalock, have joined a Facebook group advocating for for the school district to allow parents to be in the stands as their kids return to the field or the stage.

Parents of Wake high school seniors said the matter is more sentimental, and therefore, more important than the district realizes.

"The dagger in the heart is for them to not be able to enjoy and play, and not have their families be able to watch them as they play. It's the pinnacle, it's the end," said parent Beth Roach,

"We are absolutely talking about having protocols in place: face masks are required, social distancing is required, limited numbers are required," said Blalock. "We’re not trying to do a riot on the football field or start a stampede in the chorus line, but we want to be able to go there and see our kids perform."

The Wake County Board of Education will have a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday night. A number of parents in the Facebook group said they planned on speaking.

Board Chairman Keith Sutton said that nothing is set in stone and changes could be made.

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