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A mom from California is speaking out against her daughter’s school after it told her she could not sing the national anthem because of COVID-19 concerns while the team continued to play on the field.
Sarah Moreta told Fox News that her daughter is a 17-year-old senior at Mission Viejo High School in Orange County. She had planned to sing the national anthem before a homecoming last weekend. However, her daughter was informed that she was not allowed to sing the anthem only hours before the game was supposed to start. The school cited COVID-19 concerns as the reason for not allowing the high school senior to perform.
Moreta said her daughter “was devastated because this is her opportunity to sing in front of the school.”
The school was also reportedly not going to allow band or cheer to be on the field, either. However, Moreta said that the high school “cleared” band, choir, and cheer to contribute their entertainment to the event earlier that week. Her daughter, however, was the only person not permitted to sing the national anthem during the night.
Fox News reported:
On the day of the game, however, the school reversed course and said that band could not participate but cheer could, and Moreta’s daughter was canceled from performing.
“It’s just a joke. These people can go on the football field and they can run around and sweat and yell and jump on each other, but band can’t bang a drum, and children can’t just sing a song by themselves in the middle of the same football field with nobody on it? If it’s about safety, which one’s safer?”
Moreta told the outlet that her daughter goes onto the school grounds for class twice a week and has time with each of her teachers for around one hour per week. When they are not in-person at the school, the students have virtual classes over Zoom. The school is in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District and has reportedly been doing a combination of online and in-person learning since late last September.
Moreta’s daughter graduates in June. Moreta said, “She’s a senior and there are only so many opportunities they have left. There are only so many home games, there’s only so many events, period.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines include information on the correlation between singing and the spread of the virus. The center recently updated its policy for large events and gatherings earlier this month.
The CDC states that there is an increased risk where there is singing involved at an event:
Events where people engage in behaviors such as interacting with others from outside their own household, singing, shouting, not maintaining physical distancing, or not wearing masks consistently and correctly, can increase risk.
When it comes to methods that large-event planners should use in order to promote behavior that won’t spread COVID-19 among people attending or working at the event, the CDC states:
Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. If possible, keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.