LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – The Thompson School District in northern Colorado made a tough decision: to move to remote only learning following Thanksgiving.
“I don’t think anybody is crazy about doing this,” said Board of Education President Lori Hvizda Ward at a special board meeting held Friday to discuss the proposal.
That means not only are in-person classes canceled, but also likely extracurricular activities.
“Unfortunately the language of the (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) guidance is that they are strongly encouraging all other extracurricular activities to be put on hold,” said Chief Operation Officer Todd Piccone.
All of them will likely be canceled except one — football.
“(Colorado High School Activities Association) has a variance straight from the governor’s office to let football specific remain in person and open,” said Piccone.
The idea that football would continue while other students miss out was not a popular one among some of the board members.
“As a huge fan of high school football and as a Loveland High School parent, and I know those kids are itching to stake their claim again, I actually find that reprehensible,” said President Lori Hvizda Ward.
In response Board of Education member Paul Bankes said he agreed with the president adding, “It seems to undermine all the other decisions we are making and the seriousness of the situation.”
Board member Pam Howard said, “I too have a very serious problem with prioritizing football over anything and everything else.”
Parents and supporters of Loveland High School players say to cancel the season now is unfair. Their regular season is over and the team went a perfect 5-0. That means they are playoff bound.
Monica Thomas is the president of Stand Fans Football, a supporter group for Loveland High School football.
“It seems like they want to take it away without making a decision based on the science,” she said.
Thomas is also a parent of a player and says she wants the district to keep the football program going. She says they have invested in precautions like new face masks and hand sanitizing. She says if the board votes to end the season, it invalidates all the work their students have done all season.
“I feel the message is there’s no pride in the fact that they’ve earned this accomplishment,” Monica says.
A vote is planned Wednesday at the regular board meeting that will decide the fate of extracurriculars and the football season. Parents hope the school board will let their children play and other extracurricular activities continue.
“We’ve followed all the protocols. We’ve done everything they’ve asked. There’s no real reason that they shouldn’t be able to continue,” Thomas said.