STATELINE (WIFR) – The extreme heat forced more than a dozen local school districts to close early today but that isn’t stopping sports teams from taking to the field.
Even thought District 205 let classes out two hours early today, they say the heat isn’t bad enough to cancel practice, although they do recognize that it’s hot so they’re following national standards. They’re not practicing in full gear and the athletes take ten minute water breaks every 20 to 30 minutes. One parent we spoke with says that’s the way it should be.
Football is a hot, sweaty sport, regardless of temperature, but on steamy days, it can be a little more dangerous. District 205 parent Mary Hendel knows that. Her son plays football at Jefferson High School and she still supports practice on hot days.
“They can still run around and catch a ball and do exercises out there, take your breaks, take your water breaks,” Hendel says.
OSF Athletic trainers are on site use a chart to determine District 205 practice conditions.
90-99 degree temperatures with more than 70% humidity means restricted practice. 100 degrees or more and practice is cancelled. Since we haven’t hit that mark, Hendel says student athletes should play.
“These young men and women have committed themselves to something. They’re responsible. When they’re adults they cannot call into work and says it’s too hot, I can’t come into work,” Hendel says.
In fact, Hendel doesn’t believe school should’ve dismissed students early.
“This is mother nature, kids have been going to school for hundreds of years in the heat. It’s the parents’ right if they choose to pick up their child or have their child stay home, that’s fine, but I should have a right to have my son in school.”
This is just one opinion. We’ve received multiple comments on Facebook expressing different views that practices should be cancelled or some just wondering why dismiss school early, but still have practice. The district says sitting in an enclosed classroom and building with dozens of other kids and trying to learn is different than being out in the open with sometimes a breeze, doing lighter practices.
The district has rescheduled all middle school soccer games as well as the NIC-10 cross country meet that was supposed to happen today.