LAUSD athletes continue to face challenges with conflicting COVID-19 protocols

Granada Hills Kennedy quarterback Ryan Avalos poses for a photo.
Granada Hills Kennedy quarterback Ryan Avalos.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

With football practice starting Monday for Los Angeles Unified School District athletes, obstacles continue to pile up as parents and others try to understand the district’s conflicting COVID-19 protocols.

It was last week when LAUSD released a “Welcome back to school family guide.” It says on page 7 of the PDF under the heading No. 4 COVID-19 testing that “fully vaccinated students and employees are not required to test.”

Yet in an email sent to athletic directors and administrators Friday, it says, “Students and coaches are required to test weekly, and if testing results are not available student/coach may not participate in team activities.”


From LAUSD welcome back to school family guide.

When informed of the conflict, Kennedy football coach Troy Cassidy said, “I don’t understand the difference between an athlete and sitting in a classroom.”

Under LAUSD reasoning, you can sit in a classroom without weekly testing if you’re vaccinated, but you have to get tested weekly, vaccinated or not, if you play a sport.

Among other COVID-19 requirements, masks are required for indoor or outdoor practices/conditioning.

LAUSD has been trying to convince parents to get their teenagers vaccinated. The fact students wouldn’t have to undergo weekly testing if vaccinated has certainly motivated some.

San Pedro receiver Richard Sarmiento said it was one reason he chose to be vaccinated.

Kennedy quarterback Ryan Avalos said he received his two shots to make sure there are no issues during the 10-game football season that begins next month.

“I want to make sure my team is healthy,” he said.