Local High School Athletes Sue State, County, to Resume Youth Sports

"The current restrictions on playing high school sports violate the athletes' right to equal protection under the law," said the athletes' lawyers

Two local high school athletes sued California and San Diego County seeking an order requiring the government to allow high school sports competitions.

The suit was filed on behalf of Nicholas Gardinera from Scripps Ranch High School in the San Diego Unified School District and Cameron Woolsey from Mission Hills High School in the San Marcos Unified School District.

Nicholas’ father, Marlon Gardinera, is a football coach at Scripps Ranch High.  He said the lawsuit is about equal treatment, that is, if professional and college athletes are playing why can't high school athletes play?

“Don’t cut off the ability for us to develop strategies to be safer than people who currently are allowed to play while our kids are sidelined since March, and that sort of explanation of why that's the basis of the lawsuit," Marlon Gardinera said.

Lisa Delano-Wood, a parent and co-founder of the group San Diego for Safe Science-Based School Reopenings said, “All you have to do is look at the NFL, the NHL, MLB. I mean they are constantly canceling games and quarantining, and these are teams with billions of dollars behind them and can do surveillance tests before each game.” 

Among college teams, the suit mentions the San Diego State Aztecs and
University of San Diego Toreros' men's and women's basketball seasons currently

Marlon Gardinera said data show students are not getting ill from the virus, but they are suffering mentally and emotionally. 

“As a father and as a coach, I see the cases of anxiety and depression. I haven’t had any suicide ideations or suicides on my team, but I’m in a network of coaches and the stories being shared, it’s just awful," Marlon Gardinera said.

“We get it,” said Delano-Wood. “These kids need an outlet, let them work out and exercise safely at practice, there is some socialization in that. It’s the games. It’s playing with fire. It’s gambling with kids and it’s not backed by science.”

Defendants include Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state Department of Public
Health, San Diego County, and its public health officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten.

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