Oberacker To Cuomo: Restart School Sports And Performing Arts

Oberacker To Cuomo:

Restart School Sports

And Performing Arts

Oberacker

ONEONTA – State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, today called on Governor Cuomo and the state Department of Health to develop health and safety guidelines to allow high school sports and the performing arts to resume.

“Safety is everyone’s top priority and we cannot take shortcuts when it comes to the health and well-being of our young people,” said the freshman senator. “However, it is time to move forward and safely restart our school athletic programs, for all sports, and the performing arts.”

Here’s the text of Oberacker’s letter to Cuomo:

“Unfortunately, time honored traditions like a Friday night basketball game, the winter band concert, and so many other memorable events have been put on indefinite pause due to the COVID pandemic.  While other states are currently playing winter sports or planning to restart, New York remains in a perpetual timeout.  Likewise, our high school stages remain dark and band rooms silent.

“The time has passed to end the isolation and implement guidelines to safely resume the extracurricular activities that are an essential part of the student experience.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have released guidance that can serve as a blueprint for New York to follow and build on.  Students, parents, coaches, and school administrators are ready, willing and able to strictly follow all needed health measures.”

Oberacker said winter sports classified as high-risk, including basketball, hockey, wrestling and cheerleading, were scheduled to resume competition on Jan. 4.  But that didn’t happen:  Teams can practice, but not compete.  And while schools have reopened, musical and theatrical activities remain on pause.

“As a former high school athlete and coach I cannot imagine what it is like for students to miss out on a season of sports – especially for the seniors.   The same holds true for those who are unable to take the stage and showcase their talents.  We need to reward our students for the hard work and sacrifice they are displaying and we can start by letting them play,” Oberacker concluded.


One thought on “Oberacker To Cuomo: Restart School Sports And Performing Arts

  1. Publius

    We all want youth sports to begin again. Senator Oberacker may say ““Safety is everyone’s top priority and we cannot take shortcuts when it comes to the health and well-being of our young people,” Yet what he is promoting is taking shortcuts at a time when infections and deaths are at their highest point in our area, vaccines are in short supply due to nearly a year of inaction by the Federal government, and more infectious variants are spreading. Major League sports and Division 1 college sports restarted with an array of precautions that would be impossible at the high school level. Despite this, whole teams have had to quarantine, games have been postponed and athletes have survived COVID only to be diagnosed with potentially life-long side effects, such as heart disease. Oberacker, who has little power as a member of the minority party, is grandstanding and he needs to stop. If things improve, sports may be able to safely resume by May or June – not before.

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