Oak Park and River Forest HS resumes extracurricular activities Tuesday

OAK PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Oak Park and River Forest High School will allow all extracurricular activities to resume Tuesday, according to the school's website.

Over the weekend, the school district told parents it was pausing sports and other activities until winter break because of a rise in COVID cases, which led to a protest.

"It's very upsetting to hear once winter sports have started, they're canceled," said OPRF sophomore Amelia Dalton. "It just seems very unfair."

The district, in conjunction with the Oak Park Health Department, notified parents by email of the decision to pause activities through the winter break after they learned of 17 new cases of COVID-19 last week.

That's despite 81% of students and 90% of teachers being fully vaccinated.

Over the weekend students and parents demonstrated against the district's decision to pause activities.

RELATED: Families protest as west suburban school cancels all activities amid uptick in COVID cases

"I think it's unnecessary right now," said Marqui White, whose daughter runs track at the school. "Currently, our kids are going through enough during the pandemic."

"It doesn't make any sense. It was hasty. Not thought through," said OPRF parent Dionne Plywacz. "If Oak Park keeps acting so scared, you're going to have parents that aren't gonna want to send their kids here."

Some parents and students, however, said they supported shutting down activities.

"Put it in the grand scheme of things, it's sports. They could just take a step back, get the vaccine. Do what you're supposed to do," said fellow parent.

"I would rather have the kids safe," said Martha Hill, mother of a senior at OPRF in theater. "I understand a lot of parents are not happy about this but safety is the priority."

The school said for each of the 17 reported cases, there were about 50 to 70 close contacts.

The school has now reconsidered, announcing new rules on masking and testing instead.
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