CUSD Board Honors High School Sports, Ends in Raging Battle Against Masks

Superintendent Eimear O’Brien addressing the board during on February 2, 2022. (Courtesy of CUSD)

At the February 2nd Clovis Unified School District meeting a number of CIF Fall Champions for the 2021 season were honored and celebrated. A few of these student-athletes as well as coaches, athletic directors, principals, and friends and family all gathered in front of the school board with honors and were recognized for their accomplishments at the highest of levels for their 2021 seasons.

Among the honorees were Buchanan’s girls cross country team, Clovis East’s girls tennis squad, and Clovis North’s boys water polo champs. Clovis West arrived with the most competitors, having four championship teams alone. Among these included girls golf, girls volleyball, girls water polo, and the gymnastics team, all champions of their respective divisions.

Clovis West athletic director Matt Loggins may have said it best when speaking about the effects that athletics have had on student-athletes.

According to Loggins, “Just getting them back on campus to socialize” was so important for he and his colleagues and came to prove that sports held an important role in doing so.

But as the festivities and the celebration of these student-athletes ended with their withdrawal from the meeting, a completely different tone and audience took over the board members’ eyes and ears.

With a total of 16 speakers, the audience left behind were summoned to listen to yet again the battle against the COVID-19 virus and the plan set in place by the school board in order to fight this disease.

Speakers went up with thoughts on science, mass opinion, and anger towards Governor Newsom after his latest debacle in which he attended Sunday’s NFL playoff game in Los Angeles without a mask.

One speaker displayed photos of both Newsom not wearing his mask which was received with applause, as well as a photo of her children at their school dutifully and purposefully wearing their masks successfully.

At the February 2nd meeting, the school board was represented without President Susan Hatmaker who recently resigned from her position. In their response to the anger towards the mask mandates, the board stated that a part of their reasoning as to why they continue to assist in the enforcing of the rules stem from the differences between regulations of Cal/OSHA and the CDPH.

They mention that they are trying to protect their employees, the teachers, administration, and staff who are constantly around these children, and the standards provided to them by the occupational safety and hazard division.

The worry is that these employees will be exposed and have a higher risk of being exposed to the virus on a daily basis. The balance between the two, Cal/OSHA and the CDPH nonetheless is an ever changing landscape, and makes it extremely more difficult for the board to make decisions on how to move forward.

However, towards the end of the meeting, a subcommittee was proposed by board member Dr. Steven Fogg. This subcommittee, according to discussion by further board members, would take into account the on-going pandemic, as well as the issues that have been placed around mask mandates and additional issues surrounding the COVID-19 virus.

It is the hope of the board that through this committee, more can be formally spoken about surrounding the importance of the tasks at hand as well as the future of possible plans set in place by the school board.

Student achievement remains a mainstay in the minds of the board as well as it should be in the minds of those fighting against the mask mandates in the district. In total, the fight for the teachers and their Cal/OSHA rights ultimately is summarized by the board as an attempt to provide a safe environment for their staff in order for them to provide an above standard job for their students.

According to the January budget proposal provided by the board, absences spiked in the month of January around Clovis Unified, coincidentally with the last eight weeks seeing a rise in daily covid cases according to

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.