December 1, 2021

Central Ohio districts say most spectators comply with athletic health orders

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Two days after a woman was tased and forcibly removed from a middle school football game after refusing to wear a face mask, school leaders in central Ohio said they have seen compliance with the mask recommendations set forth by the Ohio High School Athletic Association and the Ohio Department of Health.

Alecia Kitts, 34, is facing charges of criminal trespassing, resisting arrest and obstructing official business, all misdemeanors.

The altercation involving Kitts and a school resource officer from the Logan-Hocking Local School District can be seen in a now viral video.

Kathryn Harris, the athletic director at Gahanna-Lincoln High School, has seen the video and said nothing like what she saw has occurred at a Gahanna sporting event.

Harris said she has seen overwhelming compliance with the safety protocols in place.

“It’s hard,” she explained. “It’s different. It’s not normal, but I think everyone realizes the importance of it, and wearing a mask is just to keep everyone around them safe.”

Harris explained school administrators, members of the athletic department and special duty police officers monitor spectators to ensure that they are following the guidelines. She also said information sheets are sent to visiting schools so their fans know what to expect in Gahanna.

“We’re doing it for the kids,” she said. “We want them to have an opportunity to compete. Last spring, those kids lost a season. Those seniors, they lost their last season and we just don’t want that to happen again. We want to create a safe environment so our kids can keep competing.”

Harris said free face masks are provided to fans who do not have their own.

Columbus City Schools also provides free facial coverings.

A CCS spokesperson said the district has not had any issues with anyone wearing masks.

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