Facing quarantine and fan ban, Blue Springs School District complies with health order

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Blue Springs High came out victorious on the gridiron Friday night, defeating Staley 42-0. But the school district was on the losing end of a court battle involving high school sports earlier in the day. 

A judge denied the district’s request to stop the Jackson County Health Department from limiting schools to 100 fans at high school games, including football. 

After watching 16,000 fans head into Arrowhead Stadium the night earlier, attorneys for the Blue Springs School District expected a judge to rule in their favor.

“We’re not asking for a lot as you heard in the evidence. We are asking for 550 people in a stadium outdoors that holds 5,000 people,” said Jason Rew, attorney for the Blue Springs School District.

But when that request was denied, the district — which parents say had already distributed as many as 550 tickets — had to make last minute changes, allowing only parents of seniors to attend the game.

After being issued a notice of non-compliance for a football game two weeks ago at Blue Springs High, the Jackson County Health Department warned another violation could lead to a complete ban on fans and the team having to quarantine for two weeks. 

“If you social distance, that’s what it’s all about. You wear the mask. You social distance. That’s what everybody wants, right. That’s what happened to at the Chiefs stadium last night,” grandparent Joe Palladino argued.

Davin Woodward, brother of a Blue Springs cheerleader, hopes the school district will take the case to trial.

In a statement Jackson County Executive Frank White said: 

“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.

“We are hopeful that today’s ruling will put an end to this issue and our public health professionals can get back to focusing on keeping our community safe and healthy.”

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