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Parents rally in Billings to allow fans in stadiums for school sports

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Posted at 5:41 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 13:53:11-04

Parents and fans are rallying Friday in Billings to urge health officials to allow them into the stands to watch their children play school sports.

About 150 gathered on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn Friday.

They are protesting RiverStone Health’s ban on spectators at high school games and activities and want to make changes to the current plan.

“Parents should have had a seat at the table before the AD’s and (RiverStone Health CEO) John Felton made any decisions,” Let Us Watch Yellowstone County founder Kari Zeier said in a news release. “To make such a strict policy without offering an opportunity to attend a public meeting or make public comment is an egregious overreach of unelected officials. These officials are paid by taxpayer dollars but refuse to include parents or members of the community in their decision making.”

According to the news release, Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen and Montana High School Association Executive Director Mark Beckman support the group.

Katrina Welch has collected nearly 30,000 signatures on a petition against the ban.

“Let Us Watch Montana” and the “Montana Sports Fans Alliance cosponsored the rally.