‘Let us play’: Sweetwater Union families keep pressing for sports to return

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Parents and students Monday stood on the curb outside the Sweetwater Union High School District headquarters to protest against the suspension of sports practices.

“It’s been pretty tough,” said Caleb Hutchins, a junior at Bonita Vista High School. “It has taken a toll on me mentally and physically. Without sports, my grades have kind of come down, lost some motivation to do good in school.”

District officials said the coronavirus infection rate remains too high in Chula Vista to allow prep sports to return. Although San Diego County now is in the second tier of the state’s four-tier reopening system, South Bay communities have consistently been hit hard by the virus, leaving districts with plenty of decisions to make on how — and when — sports and other activities should resume.

But parents still want know what it would take to bring them back.

“We are not getting transparency,” parent Allison Scanlon said, adding that she would hope the district would want to get parents’ trust back after reporting a $30 million budget deficit.

“To me, it seems they don’t want to reopen, so they can save money,” Scanlon said.

A spokesperson for the district said that implication isn’t true. The district long has been in financial turmoil, culminating earlier this year in the firing of Superintendent Karen Janney.

On Monday, the district’s board promoted acting Superintendent Moises Aguirre to lead the district on an interim basis. Sweetwater Union still plans to involve the public in a search for a permanent district superintendent in the near future, the spokesperson said.

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