A group of elementary school teachers and administrators in Kansas decided to conduct a parade Saturday to encourage students and their families and get them excited about distance learning during this time of the coronavirus chaos that has closed downs schools across the country.
But local police were having none of it and stopped the parade — even though the paraders were in their cars and not near other people. They were apparently violating a command from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, WDAF-TV reported.
What did they do wrong?
Educators from John Fiske Elementary School in Kansas City, Kansas, decided to have a driving parade through the community to show "families how much we love and support them," according to a Facebook page for the event.
The goal of the event was to get the kids excited for distance learning that will start Monday, Sharita Hutton of Kansas City Public School told WDAF. According to the station, Hutton indicated the idea was not unique to John Fiske Elementary and "has been spreading across the metro as a way to show the students their teachers care about them and also demonstrate social distancing."
In fact, the details of the April 4 "Lion Pride Parade 2020" made it clear that everyone would be practicing social distancing and would remain in their cars:
Coming to a city block near you!
A couple of reminders to make sure this event, which shows our families how much we love and support them, is safe and fun for everyone:
1. Please remember to observe social distancing and sanitation protocols
2. DO NOT run towards the vehicles, stay a safe distance away from the street
3. We cannot stop the procession
4. For liability purposes, please do not attempt to join in your car or bike
And the parade map was clearly marked out, so anyone who wanted to avoid it could.
The educators gathered Saturday morning, practiced social distancing by staying in their cars, and didn't risk spreading the coronavirus to anyone. But as the school noted on their Facebook page, the parade was "abruptly ended by local authorities" for being nonessential.
Kansas City police said the participants were in violation of state orders, according to WDAF.
Kansas City PD's public information officer, Nancy Chartrand, said the cops were just following orders, the outlet reported.
"The governor's order is the governor's order," Chartrand told WDAF. “Only necessary, essential. That's what they're supposed to be out for."
According to Chartrand, no one resisted, and no one was ticketed.
Seems that it's becoming a thing for police to stop folks from driving around — even if they never leave their car. Pennsylvania State Police cited a woman last month for going on a leisurely drive amid the coronavirus outbreak.