Letter: RE: Covid Rules for Winter Sports

The Reading Post accepts Letters to the Editor. All letters must be signed. The Reading Post reserves the right to edit or not publish any letters received. Letters do not represent the views or opinions of the Post. editor@thereadingpost.com

This letter is in response to the letter posted from Nancy Docktor on The Reading Post on December 5th

On Dec. 5, Ms. Docktor provided commentary on the Dec. 3rd school committee meeting. 

Ms. Docktor’s brief commentary about spectators at winter RMHS sports events came across as politically convenient, headline-grabbing, and sensationalized. At the same time, she does not include relevant background or information on the subject at hand in her letter.  

Ms. Docktor should be ashamed of her direct attack on school committee members, accusing them of valuing sports over human lives. There is no place for this tone in our community Ms. Docktor. How is defaming volunteer members of our school committee productive, let alone professional? 

With regards to the subject referenced in Ms. Docktor’s letter. Dr. Doherty and Mr. Zaya were part of the Middlesex League’s unanimous decision to ban all spectators at winter high school events. One can make a case that this decision was made in a vacuum, in that the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) set the standards for spectators at winter sports events, which were then adopted as the guidelines by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). The leadership of the Middlesex League, including Dr. Doherty and Mr. Zaya, chose not to follow the MA EEA and MIAA guidance. 

Keep in the Covid-19 pandemic is a fluid situation. Based on science and data the MA EEA and MIAA can change standards and guidelines at any time, which the Middlesex League and RMHS would be required to adhere to. To quote the Parents of Middlesex League Winter Athletes:

Ms. Docktor and all, I hope this provides a broader framework of the issue, without resorting to slanderous comments. Frankly, following the MA EEA and the MIAA is the prudent and efficient path for Dr. Doherty and Mr. Zaya to follow at a time when energies would be better spent on returning students to RMHS in at least the true hybrid model presented to the town, families, and students. 

Matt Donnelly
Charles Street

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