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Pembroke Academy Track & Field

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Response from Headmaster Dan Morris - Everyone's Doing It

On 5/3/2021 I recieved a response to my Masked High School Athletes Collapse email from Dan Morris, Headmaster of Pembroke Academy.

His response was essentially 'Well everyone else is doing it'. As usual there is no actual justification for the mask mandates.

Below you can find his complete email, and my response that was sent to him, the Pembroke Academy administration, and the school board.

Please let the 'powers that be' know how you feel.


Email From Dan Morris, Headmaster of Pembroke Academy...

Mr. Keyes,

Mr. Vezina and I are trying to maintain the possibility of an interscholastic track season where students will have an opportunity to compete against other schools. All other schools we compete against are adhering to the recommendations set forth by the NHIAA. This adherence is consistent with all other schools in Division 2 throughout the State of New Hampshire and consistent with the expectations for the Track and Field State Championship. I will also add that this adherence to the track and field recommendations set forth by the NHIAA is consistent with our adherence to any guidance or recommendation we have been given by the NHIAA in any other sport that we have offered this year. For instance, in the fall, the NHIAA recommended face coverings for the postseason. For the winter and spring seasons, masks were/are required for the postseason - they are recommended for the regular season. Therefore, we are following those recommendations for the regular season so that athletes are not at a competitive disadvantage at the State Championship meet. Now, with all things COVID-related, the guidelines and recommendations from the NHIAA may change and we would happily change with them if that were to occur.

However, If we did not follow the same guidelines and recommendations as other schools, then we would not be able to compete with these other schools. Not adopting the NHIAA’s guidelines and recommendations for track and field, as every other D2 school has done and as we have done for every other sport, would be effectively turning our track team into an intramural club for the year with no competitions or participation in the NHIAA State Championship. Not having a season last spring, or a winter track season this year, made it even more critical for us to not jeopardize our ability to participate in this coming season.

We will continue to work with the NHIAA and monitor their recommendations for track and field, particularly where they relate to mask usage.


Mr. Morris


My Response....

Mr. Morris,
As an educator I’m surprised that your only justification for the athlete mask mandates is that ‘everyone else is doing it’.
I’m sure you’ve heard that excuse from students before when trying to justify poor behavior. I doubt you’ve ever accepted it.
I have yet to find a single person - coach, administrator, parent, athlete - who is willing to stand up and explain the actual benefit of athletes wearing masks. I believe the reason is that the mandates are unjustifiable based on all common sense and all scientific evidence. Yet the mandates remain - to the athletes' detriment.
While students are at school you are responsible for their health and well being. These athlete mask mandates risk both. You and anyone who enforces this senseless mandate have failed in your responsibility to protect the student-athletes.

Bradley Keyes