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Grants Pass students protest outside of school district building, county courthouse

Following an email from the Grants Pass High School athletic director, a large group of student-athletes and parents gathered to protest sports delays and school closings due to the pandemic.

Posted: Oct 23, 2020 6:22 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A single email spurred a call to action for over 40 Grants Pass high school students and parents as they gathered to protest school closings and spectator bans at sporting events and other activities.

"Let us play" chants rang out in front of the Grants Pass School District 7 administration building Friday morning as student-athletes and parents called for a change in policy. They wanted in-school classes and a return to the playing fields.

"This is what we want, this is what we're here for," Elle Beth Isabell, a senior at Grants Pass High School, said. "We're here for Grants Pass, we're here for the students, we're here for the coaches, the teachers, all the sports. It's what we want so why not come out and show everyone what we want."

From the admin building, the group of students marched through Grants Pass and ended at the Josephine County Courthouse. There, they stood on the steps as cars passed by and honked in support of their message. Their message garnering the support of Grants Pass' mayor, Roy Lindsay.

"These kids are learning the freedom to protest, the freedom to express their opinions I love it, I think it's great. But I also support what they're trying to say," Lindsay said.

The email which motivated the students to protest came from Grants Pass High School athletic director Clay Rounsaville. In his message, Rounsaville writes, "current state guidance doesn’t allow for us to have visitors in our schools, therefore Grants Pass School District 7 has taken the same position for athletics and other activities."

Parents and students felt at the very least family members should be able to attend sporting events, especially outdoor events, as long as local and state health guidelines are followed. They felt the announcement from the Grants Pass school district left a bit to be desired.

"[Oregon health guidelines say] we can have 250 [fans] there to watch us but they're just taking the lazy way out and saying no to everyone," Grants Pass High School student-athlete Kyle Bautista said. "Kids need their parents there, kids need their siblings there, they need their supporters there."

The Grants Pass School District said the current ban is specific to ongoing activities and voluntary practices. As far as spectators at games when sports seasons on December 28th, the school district will reevaluate if they can safely have fans.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 74119

Reported Deaths: 905
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Multnomah17242236
Washington10347101
Marion9207140
Clackamas616077
Umatilla434349
Lane430942
Jackson382531
Malheur240644
Deschutes236815
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Josephine5374
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Clatsop3600
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Curry1352
Grant1341
Lake1321
Tillamook1310
Harney991
Wallowa713
Gilliam230
Sherman230
Wheeler30
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1215455

Reported Deaths: 19151
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3958437639
San Bernardino930191129
Riverside868541437
San Diego81084997
Orange778191577
Kern41328448
Fresno38288481
Sacramento36905576
Santa Clara34292476
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Stanislaus21714424
Tulare20701308
Ventura19510175
Imperial16019356
San Francisco15450160
Monterey15328121
San Mateo14148170
Sonoma12198157
Merced11688179
Santa Barbara11481135
Kings1109387
Solano1025281
Marin7755129
Placer649768
San Luis Obispo612936
Madera611985
Shasta488247
Yolo482776
Santa Cruz442628
Butte389459
Sutter333216
Napa303317
El Dorado24154
Yuba203610
San Benito188016
Lassen17733
Tehama167825
Mendocino145823
Nevada12729
Tuolumne9818
Glenn9258
Lake92019
Humboldt8509
Colusa7116
Siskiyou6242
Amador56316
Mono5483
Calaveras47822
Del Norte3281
Inyo29016
Plumas2150
Trinity1580
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Modoc1310
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