On Thursday, November 5, 2020, the Fairview music department was notified that all outdoor, distanced, and masked rehearsals had been cancelled indefinitely because of coronavirus precautions. Members of the football team, however, practiced for their game against Horizon scheduled for the following day. The game was not cancelled, despite the fact that football is a large group activity. Pending election results, there is a stronger country-wide emphasis on fairness than ever before. If activities are going to be canceled, BVSD officials need to abide by the levels of fairness that they encourage students to practice.
According to the BVSD COVID-19 face covering guidelines, “For extracurricular athletics or activities, students must wear a face cover at all times unless a face cover/mask interferes with safety equipment,” (bvsd.org). During games and practices, it is common to see players without a face covering even while they are less than six feet from other athletes (see photo). A face covering does not interfere with football safety equipment. To the players and coaches who wear face coverings at all times and recognize the risk, thank you.
In addition, the CDC recommends “To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces” (cdc.gov). The football team (50+ people) is packed onto two school buses in order to travel to games and huddles are not socially distanced. The team is in clear ignorance of these guidelines and does not have a plan to adhere to them.
In contrast, music rehearsals (choir, band, and orchestra) were outdoors. They met at various locations around Fairview’s grounds, wore masks at all times, and kept a distance of at least six feet. Choirs sang with masks on, which made it difficult to project and practice at all. “We had to try three different locations around the school in order to see where we can hear each other best with masks on,” said an anonymous member of the choir Excalibur.
Football is encouraged to continue while music, the safer activity, is forced to halt. As the author of this article, I am not in opposition to athletics and football games being played. In fact, I’ll be watching the NFL this weekend. That being said, I want equality and logic and I don’t see either of those present in this leadership decision.
It is difficult to encourage equity-centric young people when leadership demonstrates the opposite.
It makes sense to cancel or postpone in-person activities due to heightened coronavirus cases. However, it needs to be done in a consistent manner. We need treatment of all people and groups with respect and equality, which BVSD has failed to do. Our school district is setting a childish example of leadership in the Boulder community and their actions need to be fair to all.