Students, parents react to news some CMS extracurricular activities will resume

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 11:52 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Wednesday the district will allow several extracurricular activities to resume in February.

The news was welcoming to most students and parents.

“Performing since I was three years old, and I’m before all of this, it was like constantly in these shows, and it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. So getting to hone my craft. It’s just something that I need to be able to do,” said junior theater student Avery Hunning.

Jabril Elzie is also a junior theater student.

“Us as students we are passionate about what we do. So it’s hard for us not to do those things based off the pandemic,” he said.

Senior Kiersten Hash says it’s important to think about those disenfranchised.

“As a senior, you know, I want this year to be my great senior year and being able to participate in cheerleading and the various other extracurricular (activities) that I’m involved in, but specifically cheerleading just because that’s my central sport. And definitely, with this pandemic, we’ve had to put a lot of things on hold. From virtual practices to having to record virtual competitions, it’s definitely been a challenging and different year,” Hash said.

The district says, the arts programs -- including music, dance, and theater -- will be offered on a voluntary basis starting Feb. 8, with parent permission required for student participation.

“Decisions on live/virtual performances are under evaluation and will be communicated at a later date,” the district said in a statement.

Avery Hunning’s father, Chad, says he is excited.

“We’ve seen a lot of these theater kids struggling for this time, not only dealing with all the stress that come with COVID, but not being able to be themselves and, and to perform on stage just, it’s just like with the athletes that they they live to perform and go out and do their thing and look for scholarships to colleges and things like that these theater kids want to do the same thing. And they feel like that they’re left behind,” he said.

“Knowing that I’m going to be able to go back and do theater again and do my voice training and my acting training and my dance training and getting it all back to where it was’s really exciting,” Avery Hunning added.

Jabril Elzie’s mother had a different view.

“I honestly don’t think it’s a good idea. With COVID cases increasing student contact can definitely be a health hazard to all families. I think right now with school not in session, the best thing is to wait until the numbers go down,” Erinn Elzie said.

With the ongoing pandemic, safety and COVID protocols remain a focus for each family.

“If were like this to each other, I don’t want to do the show...that’s not safe for anybody. But if it’s like a three distancing in the audience and letting us social distance, and they’re doing the safest way possible. I’m all for it,” said Jabril Elzie.

“I would love to go back and be person to person with my extracurricular (activities). But I definitely think that however, the transition happens, it has to happen safely,” added Hash.