Blue Springs School District headed to trial over Jackson County fan limit at sporting events

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — The Blue Springs School District’s lawsuit against the head of the Jackson County Health Department will likely head to trial.

Earlier this month, the district filed a lawsuit against Jackson County Health Department Director Bridgette Shaffer.

The district alleged in the civil suit that high school athletics events that take place outdoors should not be subject to the 100-person mass gathering limit set forth by the county. The district sited Chiefs games and other professional sporting events where over 100 people were in attendance.

In a hearing in Jackson County court Sept. 11, Judge Cory Atkins denied a request for an injunction in the case and now a spokesperson for the Blue Springs School District says they’ll take the case to trial.

RELATED: Blue Springs School District sues health department to allow more fans at high school sporting events

“The District’s priority is providing parents, which includes visiting parents, with a safe environment to watch their students compete, cheer or perform as a marching band, and the District is confident that events held in its stadiums could easily accommodate at least 600 spectators, which is only around 12% of the stadium’s capacity, while still allowing ample room for social distancing,” said district spokeswoman Kaite Woolf.

Woolf went on to say that the district hopes that the county will amend its order to allow more fans and avoid a trial.

Jackson County Executive Frank White said previously that the district’s lawsuit has taken away taxpayer dollars that could have gone to addressing the COVID-19 crisis.

“The school district’s decision to sue the County’s health department meant that a considerable amount of time, energy and taxpayer dollars had to be diverted from addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Jackson County,” White said in a statement.

A bench trial is scheduled for Oct. 5.

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