One of our local high schools was supposed to start up on September 16, providing two mornings per week of in-person instruction (total of 6 hours per week of free daycare!) and the rest via Zoom (“hybrid”).
From the principal of Lincoln-Sudbury High School, on September 12:
I am very disappointed to share that I learned this morning that there was a crowded indoor and outdoor student party Friday evening that involved alcohol and complete lack of safety precautions to protect against the spread of COVID. Police were called to the scene. An estimated number of 15 students ran into the woods. They collected names from 32 other individuals. 13 of those turned out to be made up names. That means at least 13 plus 15 (28) known to be on site are unaccounted for. If these students had been identified they could be requested to be isolated from school, monitored and tested.
The Sudbury Board of Health is stating that we must start school in remote learning for 14 days from the known incident. On the assumption that students involved are more likely juniors or seniors I asked if we could bring in just 9th and 10th graders. The answer is no, because we don’t know that no younger students were involved or that students involved were not siblings of younger students. … We plan to return to in-person hybrid on Tuesday, September 29th.
I agree completely with the Board of Health that this is the most prudent course of action to take given what has taken place. After the intensity of hard work and planning that has been done to be able to start school with students in-person we are profoundly disappointed at this sudden change of plans. I know you must be as disappointed.
… If one person assumes risky behavior upon themselves it is not fair or safe to bring that risk upon others in a shared community.
So… because roughly 50 of the 1500 students chose to exercise what had been their First Amendment Right to Assemble (off campus, presumably at a parent’s house), the teachers don’t have to run any risk of in-person exposure.
(Masks and all-afternoon sanitization prevent coronavirus from spreading student-to-student or student-to-teacher, which is why tremendous efforts are put into masks and why the school is closed all afternoon every afternoon for sanitization. On the other hand, just in case a single student at the party might have had coronavirus, we can’t possible open up our masked-and-sanitized school.)
I wonder if they can keep this going for the rest of the school year, as a friend’s daughter predicted: “Dad, they’ll eventually find a way to have remote only.” Suppose that a teacher says that he/she/ze/they saw a student in the local supermarket. The student looked familiar, but it was difficult to tell who he/she/ze/they was due to the mask. Said mask was being worn under the nose, rendering him/her/zir/them completely unprotected against coronaplague. The teacher also saw some other customers in the supermarket with loosely fitted bandanas and under-the-nose masks. The school needs to be shut down, right?
- “Parents And Teen Charged Over Party Which Forced High School Into Remote Learning” (Newsweek), noting that the school was forced to close: Sudbury Police Chief Scott Nix … said the large group of youths were allegedly “disregarding state mandated social distancing and face covering protocols” and several party attendees “made threatening comments towards the responding officers”. Sudbury Police Chief Scott Nix said that the parents involved as being responsible for the party have been charged in Framingham District Court with providing alcohol to minors and violating Massachusetts Social Host Law. Under the state law anyone “who is in control of the premises and who furnishes alcohol or allows it to be consumed on those premises” constitutes as a social host and may face fines, imprisonment or both.