Esports coming to Springfield Public Schools this fall

Funding to start an esports program in Springfield high schools was approved this week over the objections of a board officer who described the extracurricular activity as “problematic.”

Board vice president Maryam Mohammadkhani raised concerns about the impact of the competitive video game playing — also called esports — on participants’ physical and mental health.

“We are growing children’s minds and… it behooves us to look at it from the perspective of we don’t have enough data to know that it’s not harmful,” Mohammadkhani said.

Mohammadkhani said she did not support purchasing the recommended hardware and software for the extracurricular program at a time when the district was “making an effort to balance screen use” in students, at her urging.

She was the lone nay in the board’s 6-1 vote to approve a list of contracts, agreements, change orders and bids including $59,520 to buy 60 laptops and related accessories for the esports program.

Superintendent Grenita Lathan said the decision to add esports this fall was based on the input of students and Josh Scott, director of athletics.

GamerCityNews 08a97d49-3aa9-4f1e-b35a-db761c88e6f6-Grenita_Lathan_002 Esports coming to Springfield Public Schools this fall

“I asked ‘What’s missing?’ and what do we need to keep students engaged,” Lathan said.

Lathan said, in her entry plan unveiled in December, that esports is one of the fastest growing activities in the world and it has the “potential to reach students not currently engaged in traditional athletics.”

She said the games played will be age-appropriate and noted esports are being offered by a growing list of Missouri colleges, including locally.

This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here

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