Parents and students hold rally at Williamson County School Board over temporary closure

Keeping Schools Safe

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A high school in Williamson County has been shut down and sports suspended after a rise in COVID-19 cases.

On Friday, Fairview High School announced that their football game with Waverly Central High School had been canceled and that students would be learning remotely on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

This week, parents and students learned that remote learning would continue until September 28, and sports would remain temporarily suspended.

On Wednesday afternoon, parents and players from the school gathered in front of the Williamson County School Board to express their disapproval of the decision and explain possible impacts.

“Just takes us out our element makes it harder for us to focus,” said Luke Pape, a senior at Fairview High School.

The Williamson County School District says the school has 28 cases of COVID-19 among students and teachers, with 36% of students and 14% percent of teachers and staff currently quarantined.

A spokesperson for the District said last Friday, the school’s attendance was 67 percent.

Biff Curtis, a parent and organizer of Wednesday’s rally, disagrees with the metric being used to measure student attendance.

“They’re using a threshold or metric that they use during flu season. They’ve arbitrarily made a decision against Fairview to sideline the students and the kids that are participating in extracurriculars.

Curtis said he believes the decision to temporarily halt athletics also hurts college opportunities for student-athletes.

He and one other family are taking legal action by filing an injunction.

“I’m filing against either or both the Williamson County School Board or the Williamson County Health Department,” said Curtis.

News 2 reached out to the spokesperson for Williamson County Schools about the claims being made from both parents and players. The spokesperson said they don’t comment on pending litigation but shared this statement,

“For the first time, the health department has asked us to close a campus-based on the spread of the virus in one of our schools. Getting us back on campus is going to take the entire school community doing what it can to stop the spread of the virus by following those health department restrictions. We are in daily communication with the health department, and we are hopeful that conditions improve in the Fairview community so we can get back to on-campus learning and activities as soon as possible.”

The Tennessee Department of Health told News 2 that questions about closures should be directed to the District.

News 2 digs deeper into how schools are planning to move forward safely for the new academic year. See how other districts around Middle Tennessee are handling everything from classroom concerns to the future of sports in our special series. Click here to see more.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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