At the School Board Meeting of August 12, 2020, School Board Vice Chair Dr. Steve Gallon III will proffer School Board Agenda Item H-9 regarding the withdrawal of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) from the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA).
Recently, at an emergency meeting held on Monday, July 20, 2020, the FHSAA voted to retain its fall sports start date of July 27, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. This will impact six fall sports: football, volleyball, bowling, cross country, golf, and swimming. The decision, which passed on a 1-4 vote, took place despite a recommendation from its own FHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee which urged the association to push back the start dates for football and volleyball. The decision will have an inequitably adverse impact on South Florida school districts such as Miami-Dade which have realized a continued spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Presently, Miami-Dade County leads Florida in such confirmed cases.
The decision will also impact the District’s participation in postseason playoffs and championship series as student athletes will not be able to prepare, practice, and compete for the same length of time as school districts that are not similarly impacted by the pandemic.
“This is an issue of equity, fairness, health, and safety” Dr. Gallon stated. “Despite the fact that schools in our area constitute a significant, major revenue source for the FHSAA, as well as a high number of playoff and state championship teams in various sports, a 10-4 vote confirms what they think of our districts, schools, and most important, the health and safety, and fair and equitable participation of our students. The FHSAA has clearly sent a message to school districts in South Florida and several others around the state,” Gallon continued. “They did not even listen to the recommendations of their own Sports Medicine Advisory Committee."
“We have heard the FHSAA loud and clear. They now need to hear from us.”