MEXICO — A decision to allow only parents of seniors as spectators at sports games at Mountain Valley High School and Buckfield Junior-Senior High School was discussed by the district’s two athletic directors during the Regional School Unit 10 board of directors meeting on Tuesday.

At the board meeting, MVHS Athletic Director Tom Danylik said that the decision stemmed from a Mountain Valley Conference meeting in August where a unanimous vote to allow up to 100 people in attendance at high school sports games was made. The MVC is composed of members from 14 schools of six counties, Danylik said.

“Our goal as athletic directors especially at this time is to get our athletes back on the field; that was our primary focus… . And we felt that the safest way to do that as athletic directors was to eliminate any spectators as we know it,” Danylik said.

At Tuesday’s board of directors meeting, before Danylik spoke, Mexico resident Wayne Sevigny said that he “had an issue with the decision that was made that fans can’t be at the games.” He also noted that in past years there have not been even close to 100 fans at any soccer game whereby Danylik explained that the count includes the athletes, coaches and everyone on the field during the game.

“It’s not a 100 fans; it’s a 100 people. So if you have two teams of 25, plus coaches, officials, other people to run the game operations you’re somewhere between 60 and 65 people right there. So that leaves you anywhere from 30 to 35 people that you can fill in because the governor’s orders is still a hundred people at our Hosmer Field Complex,” Danylik said.

In order to help keep the maximum of 100 people count at the games, senior parents will be allowed to come to the games and will be given “game-day operations jobs: that’s helping with the clock, helping with the video camera, being a ball retrieval person or family for soccer or field hockey so our senior parents will be allowed to be there and be in attendance,” Danylik said.

Each of Mountain Valley High School’s games will also be livestreamed, he said.

Buckfield Junior-Senior High School Athletic Director Cortney Sirois said that attendance at high school games at the high school will also include parents of seniors running the cameras and retrieving balls for the teams.

“Like Tom (Danylik) said, student safety and athletes’ safety is our number one priority and we just felt that was going to be the safest way to let kids back on the field,” Sirois said.

Another discussion during Tuesday’s RSU 10 board meeting involved whether to continue to allow comments during livestreamed Facebook RSU 10 board of directors meetings. Since August the board of directors has held live Facebook meetings and allowed comments which has meant that the board has had “pages and pages of comments to go through,” following their meetings, Superintendent Deb Alden said.

Board directors Michelle Casey of Buckfield, Janet Brennick of Mexico and Abbey Rice of Rumford said they thought the comments section on Facebook live during the meetings should continue.

“I get the fact that some of the comments were way off base and people are not very nice to each other on Facebook, but … I don’t like censoring people and I really like knowing what’s going on. I’ve seen comments about remote learning and if people are having a hard time (with remote learning),” Casey said.

Janet Brennick said she agreed with Casey and also agreed with Technology Director Brian Carrier, “that some words may need to be blocked (such as) vulgar and derogatory words, but I like reading the comments and hearing about what people are thinking about what’s going on in the district,” she said.

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