House republicans demand Gov. Wolf, PIAA allow parents in stands

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — House Majority leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) and 62 other Pennsylvania House republicans wrote to Gov. Wolf and the PIAA to request parents of athletes to be allowed to spectate at events.

This comes after the PIAA released more guidelines last week on their return to play for fall sports stating that spectators will not be present at PIAA games. Pennsylvania’s reopening guidelines in early June prohibited fans at K-12 events.

The letter refers to Gov. Wolf’s decision on letting individual school districts decide on their reopening plan, stating: “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?”

The letter also stated that at a time when folks have had the five-month experience of social distancing and protecting themselves and others, 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 notes that 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,” the members said to the PIAA.

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