PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) — Plano ISD has canceled the second annual out-of-district football game between Plano Senior High and Eastwood High after the mass shooting, committed by a former student, that left 22 dead in El Paso earlier this month.
The shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, graduated from Plano Senior High School in 2017.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, it was said that administrators felt obligated to prioritize the safety of all attendees and the timing of the game —originally scheduled for Sept. 6 — fell on a date “too soon after the tragedy.”
Plano ISD Superintendent Sara Bonser opened a dialogue with Ysleta ISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre regarding the second annual out-of-district matchup between Plano Senior High and Eastwood High, scheduled for September 6. After consulting with local law enforcement agencies, Plano ISD administrators felt obligated to prioritize the safety of the participating players, students, families and communities, and have concluded that the timing of the game falls too soon after the tragedy in El Paso.
Superintendent Sara Bosner said Plano ISD is heartbroken over what is happening in society today and the affect it carries to children and the community.
“Our students and coaches were eager for this opportunity to come together with Eastwood High to promote a message of compassion and healing, but what should be a celebratory event would be encumbered by safety concerns for the participants and fans of both teams,” Bosner said. “Our top priority must be the safety of all.”
The matchup between the two schools began last year, and was planned to become a new tradition, Plano Senior High School Principal Sarah Watkins said
“Last year we had such a great experience hosting Eastwood High, and we were looking forward to continuing this new tradition,” Watkins said. “We were looking forward to continuing this new tradition.”
Before the cancelation, the booster clubs of both football teams had been working together on efforts to promote unity and healing, and to show support for the El Paso community.
However, Plano Senior High School will continue efforts to raise support.
“Our entire school community felt strongly about showing love and support for the people of El Paso, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue that outreach,” Watkins said.
There has been no word on if there will be another date scheduled for the game.