LIBERTY, MO (KCTV) - The status of high school sports is a hotly discussed topic now, but the director of the Kansas City Health Department says there is a plan being debated that might make sports safer for everyone.

Football practices are underway right now at a lot of school districts around the Kansas City metro where a firm decision about high school sports has not been made.

The recommendation is to move many of the sports to the spring, and now another idea is being tossed around - make student athletes virtual learners.

“Now what some schools are debating is, ‘Well maybe we will allow the students that stay virtual-only to do these sports,’ because if there is an outbreak on the team and they get ill, they don’t bring whole classroom down, they aren’t exposing teachers because they are home virtual,” KCHD Director Dr. Rex Archer told KCTV5 News.

It’s unclear which school districts are considering this new approach. Archer’s position is over more than a dozen school districts, and they all get to make their own choices.

Archer has been very clear about high school sports, saying he believes this will be the tipping point and force schools to close earlier. He also emphasized that he truly understands the importance of sports. He went to state three years for football and got a scholarship to play in college.

He outlined that if districts and parents believe sports are so important, virtual student athletes might be one way to allow sports.

Archer recommends no football until the spring, but he can’t make schools follow that recommendation. He can, however, shut schools down. And that may be why some school districts are considering making student athletes virtual.

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