Lansingburgh students protest district's decision on high-risk sports

Sam Hesler
Updated: February 11, 2021 05:16 PM
Created: February 11, 2021 12:09 PM

While Rensselaer County has given the green light to so-called high-risk winter sports, the Lansingburgh Central School District says they are postponing their winter sports this year.

For high-risk winter high school sports, Lansingburgh is the only district in the Colonial Council that will not be participating. It is a decision that has some parents and students upset.

Senior Jada Rondon was one of about a dozen student athletes protesting the school's decision to postpone high-risk winter sports like basketball this year.

For her, not being able to play basketball means more than missing the chance to shoot some hoops.

"As a senior, it's really heartbreaking to not have this last opportunity to be as a group, and you know leave our mark on the school," Rondon said.

While Lansingburgh school officials have tabled high-risk sports like wrestling and basketball, they have given the green light to off-season training sessions for sports that are going to be played in the spring this year.

"A lot of schools are playing and a lot of sports are playing," she continued. "You know they already said they are going to start practicing for Fall II sports. If they can play, why can't basketball?"

Lansingburgh Superintendent Dr. Antonio Abitabile declined an on-camera interview, but he said the district's focus is getting students back into the classroom for in-person learning. Students in grades 3-12 have been learning virtually since mid-March 2020.

With high school students expected to head back to the classroom next month, parents like Alyson Genevive, whose daughter is a junior on the basketball team, are asking district officials to reconsider.

"I think it's time they re-asses and let us do our winter sports, so these seniors can have their seniors can have their senior night and at least partake in a few games. We're not asking for normal, we know we can't have normal," Genevive said.

They say they are willing to do whatever it takes to get athletes back on the court. With virtual reopening hearings scheduled for this week, the district will likely be hearing from those parents and student athletes again.

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