Duluth students, parents hold movement against limiting activities

Ryan Juntti
Updated: October 20, 2020 10:36 PM

Some Duluth students and parents are calling for an end to distance learning, and also on the district to "Let Them Play" when it comes to their sports and other activities.

The Duluth School District is preparing for the possibility of having to shut down activities if COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Students and parents from both Denfeld and East High schools gathered outside of Historic Old Central High School on Tuesday afternoon.

There, they held signs saying things like, "Let Us Play" as cars driving by honked to show their support.

Duluth Public Schools Superintendent John Magas was there, and listened to parents as they pleaded with him to allow their kids back in the classroom.

Denfeld student John Bloomquist says distance learning has posed challenges for himself and other students who typically get good grades.

"I'd say for me at least, and I know a lot of students that have higher or typically get good grades are either failing or at very low grades when in school they wouldn't be at that," said Bloomquist.

The district previously said if the bi-weekly case rate in Duluth area schools is above 30 this Thursday, they may have to take steps to shut down high school activities.

This is because that would mark the third week in a row with a bi-weekly case rate of over 30.

On Monday, Magas said the plans are still being determined for if that happens.

"Even at that point we would be in a phase of considering what that number meant, and it doesn't mean that you immediately shut things off on Thursday night. We have to consider what sports we have, what can we do to ensure safety, what activities do we have, how can we ensure safety there, and also where do the numbers trend from there," Magas said.

If activities are shut down, the district says case rates would need to be below 30 for three weeks in a row, and show a downward trend in community spread to start back up again.

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Ryan Juntti

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