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By: Joshua ZuberLAS CRUCES, N.M. -- New rules, or “expectations,” are in place at Las Cruces Public Schools starting Tuesday for its athletic programs. As KFOX 14 reported Aug. 19, a 13-year-old was struck by lightning at Picacho Middle School during practice. Already the coaches and staff use lightning meters, which can detect lightning in the area. But now during practice they will eventually use those and in the mean time will use a popular weather app called Weather Bug to track the lightning. Parents KFOX 14 talked to say despite the scary moments, which ensued from that lightning strike, they and their kids are ready to hit the gridiron.
"I’m excited that he is excited. I’m excited that that it didn’t stop them from wanting to go out and still play the game.” Crystal Franco of Las Cruces said. That lightning strike injure five people and severely injured Keefer. <--Who is this? Give full name. Keefer has returned to school, according to KFOX 14’s media partner The Las Cruces Sun News. He’s said to rejoin his teammates in a few weeks. In light of Keefer’s lightning incident, Tuesday evening, LCPS said they have added more to its lightning safety protocol. "In the past our practice had been a national standard of the National Association of the Trainers of 6 to 8 miles and we have expanded that perimeter to 10 miles as our perimeter of safety,” Superintendent Stan Rounds said. Rounds said the district already complied with national standards for safety when it comes to athletics. “If you see a flash and you listen for a bang, we have now said that if 50 seconds or less you need to exit where you are at, you need to get inside to safety,” Rounds said. Although these chances have come after the accident, Rounds notes that even these rules may have not prevented the Aug. 19 accident from happening. “The event that occurred at Picacho Middle School, we had a meter less that a tenth of a mile away, that was showing 11.1 miles to the nearest strike previous to that,” Rounds said. As for the investigation as what could happen to the coaches involved in this lightning incident, Rounds said he believes everyone did the right thing and no one will be losing their job.
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