HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) - A judge has banned schools in six north Mississippi counties from allowing children to practice football and other outdoor activities between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. because of temperatures that have soared above 100 degrees this week.
Chancery Court Judge Mitchell Lundy's temporary restraining order against school sponsored activities, both public and private, affects DeSoto, Tate, Panola, Yalobusha, Grenada and Montgomery counties. The ban is effective indefinitely.
Lundy made the ruling Thursday after three deaths this week were attributed to extreme temperatures. The latest death was a football player from Mount Olive, who collapsed Thursday as a result of heat stroke while practicing when it was 101 degrees. The heat index was 110.
Lundy said it is the Chancery Court's duty to "protect minors from harm when at all possible."
Others are not persuaded.
"To me, it's an insult to professional educators if he (Lundy) doesn't think we have enough sense to take care of our kids," Olive Branch High School football coach Scott Samsel said Thursday. "Coaches these days are so much better educated about possible heat related injury. We've modified practices with more breaks and we've held practices at different times of the day."
Lundy said his order was based on a National Weather Bureau heat advisory that says strenuous outdoor activities are dangerous the next several days between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Lundy said "that participation of these school sponsored activities by minors is not in their best interest and is in fact dangerous to their health and welfare."