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Texas Episcopal high school football season planned

Texas Episcopal high school football season planned

Episcopal High School in Houston has scheduled an 8-game regular season for its football program. The Chairman of the Trustees of the school is the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, bishop of the Diocese of Texas. Practice begins August 17th.

Due to the Covid pandemic few if any Episcopal churches have celebrated communion for months.

As primary and secondary schools begin for the fall, many are planning online education only.

Some pro sports are being played. Pro baseball has suffered setbacks from Covid outbreaks. Pro basketball is being played in a bubble where players and other personnel are confined to a quarantined location for the season.

Many have argued that our highest priority should be making in-person primary and secondary education safe. And that this would involve steps such as: online-only university education, closing bars and other social gathering places such as in-person church, and no competitive sports.

Addendum: The Rev. Steven Wilson makes an excellent factual observation in the comments,

In the interest of fairness, the published schedule includes playing four other Episcopal-affilated schools in Texas: Episcopal School of Dallas, Parish Episcopal School of Houston, St John’s School of Houston, St Mark’s Episcopal School of Houston. It’s not a single institution making this decision–it’s multiple boards in two dioceses.

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Steven Wilson

In the interest of fairness, the published schedule includes playing four other Episcopal-affilated schools in Texas: Episcopal School of Dallas, Parish Episcopal School of Houston, St John's School of Houston, St Mark's Episcopal School of Houston. It's not a single institution making this decision--it's multiple boards in two dioceses.

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Brother Tom Hudson

And how do they intend to keep the players, coaches, and referees safe? Will they play wearing masks? Will they maintain six feet distance between everyone on the field? Will they quarantine these boys in their homes, so that they don't infect family members, especially any who may be vulnerable? Why is playing football more important than playing it safe? This is still a bad idea; it sets a terrible precedent (basketball season is coming), and it sets a poor example of responsibility and good judgment for other schools and churches. So what if other schools make equally bad decisions. I fail to see how that makes it "fair" that they are all willing to risk the lives and health of their teams, students, and families. This is a shame and wiser heads need to prevail.

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Brother Tom Hudson

I realize that football is a religion in Texas, but WHAT ARE THEY THINKING????

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Eric Bonetti

This is a profoundly bad idea, and I cannot think of anything kind to say about this decision.

Medical professionals increasingly report long-lasting effects from COVID-19 infection, including among young people. These include mood and cognitive disorders of indefinite, perhaps lifelong, duration.

These student athletes deserve better, particularly since, at their age, far too many perceive themselves to be invincible. As such, this is a grave breach of trust and a form of abuse, for it fails to protect the vulnerable among us. +Doyle, the trustees, and the standing committee should be ashamed of their abject lack of leadership.

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Eric Bonetti

I’d add that I sent my concerns directly to the bishop, as I don’t think it’s fair to say anything here that I wouldn’t say directly to the subject. In true TEC fashion, the result was splendid silence.

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