Illinois high school reverses decision to cancel winter extracurriculars due to COVID

Dozens of angry parents and students chanted, "Let them play!" in a protest outside of the high school.
Tip-off to start the game between the Arizona Wildcats and the UCLA Bruins
Tip-off to start the game between the Arizona Wildcats and the UCLA Bruins
(Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images)

Oak Park and River Forrest High School in Illinois reversed its ban on winter extracurricular activities. 

The ban was issued Friday following 17 new cases of COVID-19 in the school. The prohibition was not just limited to playing and practicing school sports. Upcoming SAT testing and a winter concert were also canceled at the time, Just the News reported.

A petition has generated more than 2,000 signatures against the ban, calling for a "public hearing" to discuss the ban.

Dozens of parents and students protested Saturday outside of the high school, chanting "Let them play!" in support of the students. 

In response to the angry parents, the district overturned the ban on Monday. The school board will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday.

When superintendent Greg Johnson initially announced the ban, he shifted the blame to Oak Park Public Health Director Theresa Chapple-McGruder, according to West Cook News

Chapple-McGruder will now reportedly require all students to wear KN95 masks and routine COVID saliva tests. Students will be spread out during lunch as well.

The health director's stringent precautions come despite the fact she claimed Monday on Twitter, "about 93% of kids in my area are vaccinated." 

About 3,400 students are in the school district.