Scripps Ranch parents push to be allowed at football games


SAN DIEGO – After a year on the sideline, Brian Stoney and Diane Merrigan will each see their kids back in the game, suiting up Friday night for the Scripps Ranch Falcons.

“My son was so excited to get back to playing,” Merrigan said.

State health guidelines for sports emphasize social distancing measures by limiting attendance at practices and competitions to immediate household members. That works for Scripps Ranch parents, and they were planning to watch the team compete from inside the stadium.

But last week, the San Diego Unified School District told them fans wouldn’t be allowed in.

“We want to know why?” said Stoney whose son is a junior at Scripps Ranch.

Instead of sitting in the bleachers, Stoney said parents now will gather at the top of a hill overlooking the stadium to watch the game, a situation that arguably leaves less room for them to socially distance.

A parent even drafted a blueprint of how social distancing could be done safely in the stands during Tuesday night’s school board meeting, but Stoney said time was limited to share their thoughts.

“It was, ‘Next, next,’” Merrigan said of the response from the board. “It was the biggest disappointment to me because it felt like they weren’t even listening.”

A district spokesperson tells FOX 5 that San Diego Unified is working on its own safety plan that officials hope to have implemented as early as next week.

But Stoney and others are worried next week quickly can turn into next month.

“By then, the season will be over,” he said.

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