Livingston Parish students who take virtual option will not be able to play sports

Livingston Parish students who opt for virtual option will not be able to participate in sports

LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Many area school systems, including East Baton Rouge Parish, are giving parents the option to let their children learn virtually due to COVID-19 concerns.

Now, students in Livingston Parish have that same option, but there’s one small catch.

The catch is if those students choose to learn completely virtually, they cannot participate in athletics.

Brett Beard is the head football coach and athletic director at Denham Springs High School.

“If you’re not around people at school, how could you justify being okay with them playing sports? Playing the game of football, wrestling, baseball, basketball, how could you be okay with them playing sports but not okay with them going to school?” questioned Beard.

Livingston Parish Schools laid out three district reopening plans, which include the traditional model of teaching in-person, the hybrid model, and distance learning. 

Now, parents have the option to keep their children learning from home, but that means they won’t be playing sports.

“I did send out a message to HUDL account, our HUDL account saying you know guys, if you chose to go 100% virtual, I get it. But if you do, you can’t play football or any other athletic teams or any other extracurricular activities, so if you do sign up for it, just know what you sign up for,” said Beard.

In Coach Beard’s case, he urges families of athletes at his school to make the best decision for them, and them only. 

“My biggest thing is don’t ever close doors you don’t know are open. You know, if you choose not to play, I get it, but there may be some doors open there that you don’t know about that you close because you chose not to play. So we’re going to do everything on our side to be as safe and smart as possible for our kids to be as safe as possible,” said Beard.

WAFB also talked to a spokesperson with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, who says practices for fall sports are already happening, and that the school district will follow all the guidelines from the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA).

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