BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Parents in Blue Springs are raising money to help the school district sue the Jackson County Health Department.
This is over attendance limits at sporting events health officials put in place due to COVID-19. As it stands now, only 100 people are allowed in the stands for events like high school football games.
The school district sued, saying that’s less than 2% attendance in its stadiums. The lawsuit demands 12% capacity, or about 600 people.
“For the county to say that we can’t all be there to watch, I think is a slap in our face,” Rob Regier said.
Regier said he organized a fundraiser to limit the taxpayer burden of the lawsuit. He has raised more than $1,000 in six days, but says that’s not the only goal.
“[One goal is] making sure that the county doesn’t overstep its bounds,” Regier said. “It doesn’t have the authority to go around threatening people with house arrest just for playing a football game, or playing in the band, or cheerleading. It’s not right.”
Regier cites the Chiefs as an example. The team is currently allowing 22% capacity at Arrowhead Stadium.
But people like Blue Springs taxpayer Erna Duffer disagree with the lawsuit.
“If they want to totally pay for the attorneys, they can do that,” Duffer said. “That’s not a problem, but I object to them using my taxpayer money, or any taxpayer money, that sounds like it doesn’t put the children’s actual education ahead of their social development.”
Still, as of now, both sides are headed for an Oct. 5 trial date.
While the taxpayer cost is unknown, Regier hopes to raise as much as possible before then. He said this is for the players, like his son, a senior football player at Blue Springs South High School.
“They only get 10 games a year, so for a parent to not be allowed to attend or watch this game that our sons have sweated over, blood, sweat and tears for 10-11 months, it’s shameful that we’re not allowed to do that, and it hurts,” Regier said.
The health department didn’t comment on the fundraiser, citing pending litigation.