So you want to stay in person, sports to continue, and other activities to resume? 

By Terry McCafferty ‘22

The decision is increasingly in your hands. It has become clear that in recent weeks the Saint Ignatius High School Administration is reevaluating their previous official COVID policy. At the start of the school year, the official position of the school was to move off campus if Cuyahoga County went from Level 3 (red) to Level 4 (purple) on the Ohio Department of Health’s map OR if between 5-10% of students or 15% of staff are quarantined. From interviews conducted by The Eye with Principal Dr. Fior and Head of Discipline Mr. Franzinger, it has become evident that there is an ongoing conversation within the school’s halls of power over whether classes will remain in person regardless of if the county turns purple, which could very well happen as we head into the fall months. 

Original school policy which is now apparently “on the table” for discussion according to Dr. Fior.

When Dr. Fior was asked point blank by reporter Nathan Kuczmarski ‘22 if he would stand by the school’s original policy, he did not answer in the affirmative and instead said, “I think we should consider everything on the table.” When pressed on if this should be interpreted as there being a possibility that the school would continue if the county turns purple but the Governor didn’t mandate otherwise, he conceded “there is always a chance.” 

Mr. Franzinger went even further in calling into question the original official school policy saying, “Are we beholden to the county’s numbers or more so our own communities numbers? I think we’ve done a great job, so we should for those efforts hopefully be able to stay.”

If the leaders of our school are possibly willing to prioritize internal numbers over county numbers as long as our internal numbers remain low, every individual student’s impact on the future of the school year increases drastically. Every COVID case Saint Ignatius has takes us one step closer to going online. 

Therefore, there is no better time than now to double down on our efforts to remain healthy. So far, based on both anecdotal evidence from the principal and our continued low COVID counts, the students and teachers have been doing a relatively good job following the safety guidelines. However, if we want to stay in person, sports to continue, and other activities to resume, we must continue to be persistent about wearing masks, constantly wash hands, and physically distance as much as possible. But that is just the easy part. If we want to really make a difference, we have to lead the way and help others make the same responsible decisions. Don’t be afraid to remind others to follow these rules when they forget. 

“Men for others” is more than just a slogan, it is what Ignatian men aspire to be. Dr. Fior mentioned that mask wearing was a clear example of being a “man for others” and was also an “act of charity.” This is our chance. This is your chance. In these fall months, being a man for others isn’t hard. You don’t need to be martyred. You don’t have to give away everything you own to the poor. You don’t have to start a big charity or lead some extensive operation. All you have to do is keep keeping yourself and others safe and be more persistent in encouraging your peers to do the same. 

This is our test, our mission is clear. Can our school continue to overcome this enduring challenge of staying healthy into the fall months and holidays? The choice is yours.