Shawnee Mission closes all athletic fields to public after ‘repeated violations’ of social distancing guidelines

Groups of soccer and lacrosse players convened on the Indian Hills Middle School field in late March after the county's stay-at-home order went into effect. The school district has now closed all fields to public use after "repeated violations" of social distancing guidelines.

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After continuing to get reports of people using them in ways that violated social distancing guidelines, the Shawnee Mission School District is closing all of its athletic fields to public use. The district says it will prosecute people who violate the closures. The full announcement released by the school district today is below.

After several different attempts to find a workable solution, the Shawnee Mission School District has made the decision to close all athletic fields, in order to comply with personal distancing guidelines associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. While the district recognizes the need for children, families and community members to get outside and remain active during Governor Laura Kelly’s “Stay at Home” order, the district also has the responsibility to support the personal distancing guidelines issued by the state. Several attempts were made to find a compromise to allow use of the fields while also strictly following personal distancing and other health guidelines.

Unfortunately, the district continued to experience repeated violations of those guidelines, as well as attempts to circumvent the spirit of the guidelines by organized groups. For those reasons, the district has made the decision to completely close all athletic fields until further notice. These closures will be posted, and violators will be prosecuted. We will continue to permit use of the tracks for walking/running, as long as personal distancing guidelines are followed. We appreciate your understanding of and adherence to these new guidelines.