Orland Park students, parents rally for high school sports to continue

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ORLAND PARK, Ill. — Parents and students held a rally in suburban Orland Park as school districts across the Chicago area are being pressured to allow high school sports to go on despite pandemic restrictions.

“Our kids are suffering they need to go back to school. They’re lonely. They can’t go back to sports they can’t do marching band,” Diane Devito, a parent at Sandburg High School, said.

It’s a cry that many have had in various parts of the state since the pandemic. However, Gov. JB Pritzker has made it clear — there will be no sports for now.

“One of my friends has four kids and she’s in three different districts and she had to quit her job,” Devito said. “It’s not an easy thing. The kids are frustrated looking at a screen six hours a day. “

Devito said the group of parent at Thursday’s rally comes from about a dozen nearby districts. She said there has to be another way. The parents and students say kids staying out of the classroom is doing more harm than good.

Right now, the Centers for Disease Control says social distancing is one defense against catching COVID-19.

“I do believe there’s a way our school board can get the kids back safely. They’re willing you wear masks. They’re willing to wash their hands. They just need to be in the classroom,” Devito said.

Parents at the rally said they will continue to have other rallies until their children are back in school.

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