MISSION — Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation told The Monitor on Tuesday that Mission CISD parents and student-athletes representing each fall sport — cross country, football, tennis and volleyball — plan to protest on behalf of fall sports competition this weekend.
The parents and student-athletes — representing Mission High, Mission Veterans and the district’s four middle schools — are trying to send a message to both school district and Hidalgo County officials amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: Stop meddling with our seasons.
In their view, fall sports competition should remain on the table as a viable extracurricular option for student-athletes and parents, who can make their own determinations as to whether it’s too risky for them to play.
Many have told The Monitor that they would happily sign waivers, wear masks and continue to follow public health guidelines if that meant they could return to the fields and courts of play.
“It would be something to look forward to and something for the community to rally around a team. It’s what we need right now,” said Micah Lopez, a senior linebacker at Mission High whose brothers, Matthew and Myles, and father, Mark, are also involved with the Eagles’ football program.
“It means everything. Football is my way out of here to go play college ball. To have that one last season, it would mean the world to go out there one last time.”
On Wednesday, additional sources told The Monitor more details regarding the Mission CISD parent and student-athlete fall sports protest, which is set to occur from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the district’s headquarters building at 1201 Bryce Drive in Mission.
Organizers are asking those interested in attending to take signs and wear a mask.
The Dallas Morning News reported similar protests occurring at the Dallas ISD headquarters building on Monday and Tuesday.
Additionally, parents from Mission High and Mission Veterans are drawing up a hard-copy petition for interested Mission CISD parents and student-athletes to sign that will ask the district to refrain from making any further decisions regarding fall sports competition until Sept. 9.
According to multiple sources close to the matter, the hard-copy petition does not yet have any signatures, but parents from both Mission high schools are organizing a drive-by petition signing that’s set to take place from 5:30-8 p.m. Friday at Brick Fire Pizza (704 E Griffin Parkway, Mission).
Furthermore, Mission CISD has sent out an internal survey for parents regarding fall sports and extracurricular preferences with the goal of trying to establish how many of its student-athletes want to participate and how many parents are comfortable with allowing their kids to do so.
“The Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) administration and board of trustees has requested and relied upon parent input in the planning of operations leading into the school year. This included surveying that has taken place throughout the summer regarding instructional preferences, and technology needs,” the district stated in a Wednesday morning news release.
“Most recently, the district started a previously planned parent survey for all students of athletic programs or who have an athletic period regarding their preferences on in-person activities. The insights gained through the parent responses will continue to play a vital role in decisions that also take into consideration the status of COVID-19 community spread data for the county. The Mission CISD administration and board of trustees is committed to making sure the parent voice is heard during this time and used in making decisions regarding student services while balancing the needs of the health and safety of students and staff.”