California parents are expressing anger at a school district after officials suspended baseball players for snapping a picture without wearing masks and threatened to cancel the entire season.
“They were definitely in talks on canceling the whole season over that picture. But our vice president of athletics and our coach really fought for us and kept the season alive,” Rory Freck, a John Burroughs High School baseball player, told “Fox & Friends” over the weekend.
The team was trying to keep alive a 20-year tradition of taking a photo of senior players for the school’s yearbook.
But, according to KABC, the team was suspended after photos, taken in late January showing players sitting in front of the school, appeared on social media accounts. The players were punished for not social distancing or wearing masks, per COVID-19 protocols. Moms of the seniors took the pictures, the report noted.
(Source: Fox News)
The varsity baseball team was suspended for a week from organized team practices and conditioning drills over the violations, while the senior players received a two-week suspension.
“I have decided to delay the return of athletic conditioning for the JBHS baseball team by one week so that the team can review health guidelines and safety protocols. I look forward to the team beginning conditioning on Monday, safely,” Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Matt Hill said in a statement, KABC reported.
Parents were outraged by the decision to punish the players including Shari Vanole, who told Fox News she was “disgusted” by what she described as an “unnecessary…abuse of power.”
“We were just trying to do right by the boys and get their picture in the yearbook. Something that has been done for decades and they all got punished for it,” she said.
Jo Dee Freck, Rory’s mother, added that she did “not understand” the district’s decision to punish the boys, adding that they were all required to take a “coronavirus protocol lesson” as well.
“I don’t quite understand because [of] the timeline on this. The picture was taken in January and we posted it on a social media page,” she said, adding that the suspension was a “second disciplinary action.”
Though the official COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. has surpassed 520,000, kids and young teens are reportedly among the least affected. Also, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health experts and studies have determined that the coronavirus does not spread in schools, but rather through communities.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made a stark admission last month, noting that according to research, the virus spreads more when schools are closed than when they are open.
“What we are finding from the science-based literature is that there is more spread that is happening in the community when schools are not open than when schools are open,” she told CNN. “So we certainly want to make sure that there is limited to no transmission of disease in our schools, and of course we are managing all sorts of risks.
“If schools are closed, there is lots of other risks. That is, risks to food insecurity and many of the other things mentioned: the lack of education, educational milestones being missed,” Walensky added.
“So, many other things that we have to think about in the risk. So, what we are trying to do is make sure that there is limited to no transmission in the schools and we believe with the strategies that we have put forward that there will be limited to no transmission in the schools if they are followed,” she added.
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