A football game between Plano Senior High School and Eastwood High School in El Paso is back on after being cancelled by Plano ISD officials over “safety concerns.”
Plano ISD announced Friday that the game would take place on Sept. 5 at The Star in Frisco. The game was cancelled in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in El Paso by a recent PSHS graduate.
Plano ISD said on Thursday, in announcing the cancellation, that it wanted to “prioritize the safety of the participating players, students, families and communities,” and determined that the game was happening too soon after the mass shooting. On Friday, officials in Plano didn’t directly answer questions about those initial safety concerns and would only say a “unique” set of circumstances surrounded the game.
“At the end of the day it is on me to make a decision about safety and security and I hope that is what the community wants from their superintendent,” said Plano ISD superintendent Sara Bonser. “That is what I will do and it is not popular and people will interpret that in many ways, but it was never intended as an insult or any way to make kids feel bad.”
The Ysleta ISD superintendent held a press conference shortly after Plano ISD’s and said he got a call earlier this week from Plano ISD about concerns with having enough law enforcement to cover the fans that would show up.
“Thank you again to everybody who reached out with offers of support and help,” said Ysleta ISD superintendent Xavier De La Torre. “Peace and unity will guide this district and fear will be left behind.”
The decision by Plano officials had been condemned by politicians in both regions of the state and by members of the community in El Paso and Plano. A petition started by a PSHS student to reinstate the game had already gotten more than 500 signatures in less than 24 hours.
Plano ISD said public pressure did not have anything to do with the change. Officials said they didn’t have a viable alternate stadium to safely host the game until Friday when Frisco ISD offered the use of the Ford Center at The Star. The Ford Center is an enclosed 12,000 seat football/multi-purpose stadium that hosts Frisco ISD games and is used as an indoor practice facility by the Dallas Cowboys.