COLORADO SPRINGS — A local mom reached out to us for help, and possible answers after finding hundreds of teenagers crowding a local park during a student-organized football practice. With some school districts not starting their sports practices in July, she's worried it could happen again.
Lori Roy told News5 the field at John Venezia park was packed with at least 200 people, including her own son. Students came here to play some football because they just wanted to get some practice, which she said she understands, but the problem?
She says there was no social distancing, and no supervision.
So she's asking some school districts to move their sports practice up to earlier in the year, so students can go somewhere safe to play — rather than planning their own gatherings.
Videos and pictures reportedly show a large group of teens went to the park on Friday evening to play some 7-on-7 football as another crowd of teens and parents watched.
While the kids enjoyed it, as a mom to her 16-year-old son, Roy wants to put safety first. So she posted a petition on Sunday asking school districts to move their summer sports practice from July to June and help prevent another crowded event.
"The potential for injuries, the potential for COVID, the potential for fights was definitely my concern," Roy said. "My concern is that they still don't have anything to do through the whole month of June so this is going to continue."
As of Monday evening, the petition had more than 100 signatures. Roy's son attends school in Academy District 20, so we reached out to them to hear their thoughts.
A spokesperson for D20 said they'll be discussing off season schedules this week, and they'll work with state and local health department to make sure they're following safety guidelines. She added that while they understand where petitioners are coming from, the safety and well-being of their students, staff, and community will be their main priority moving forward.
We will keep you posted on any developments.