Uintah School Board Sends Letter to Governor Outlining Opposition
By Kristin Forbis, Nov 17, 2020
The Uintah School Board is unanimously making their voices heard with a letter addressed to Governor Gary Herbert explaining their opposition to suspend any extracurricular sport or activity beyond November 23rd, citing the health and safety of students. “With the implementation of your order, organized practices and workouts ceased,” they shared with Herbert. “Coaches and advisors trained in our district’s risk mitigation protocols can no longer work with their student-athletes, meaning there is no supervision in place to reduce the risk of infection or injury. Instead, kids are flooding non-school district facilities in our community for unsupervised workouts where masks are not worn, and where physical distancing is not practiced.” The letter goes on to emphasize that continuing extracurricular sports and activities actually gives students added incentive to follow protocols that lower their risk of contracting COVID-19 and that the district’s current risk mitigation protocols are working. “As a Board, we support regular testing for those involved in extracurricular activities, with parental consent for minors,” continues the letter. “We already have processes in place to effectively conduct testing under the state’s low-risk test and return protocol, thanks to our close partnerships with the TriCounty Health Department. We are also amenable to limits on the number of spectators for games and events held indoors. All we ask is that our students be allowed to return to competition in the sports they love and participation in the activities that keep them engaged. Some may view extracurricular activities as less important than what takes place in the classroom. We assert, however, that classroom learning is amplified by involvement in extracurricular activities, where teamwork, goal setting, time management, problem solving, and leadership are taught and reinforced.” The Board closed by asserting that all involved in extracurriculars has bore the brunt of the state’s response to the pandemic and that, looking back now, the cancellation of spring sports and activities was unwarranted and had negative impacts on the kids in the Uintah School District. This is something they unanimously stated they cannot allow to happen again.