Pep rallies to be optional as COVID cases rise

The next pep rally will be held Aug. 27.


Kathleen Ortiz

Students sing the alma mater at the end of the first day of school pep rally on Aug. 10. The next pep rally is Aug. 27 and plans are in place for students who may want to opt out of it.

Kathleen Ortiz, Editor-in-Chief

As students packed the gym on the first day of school for a pep rally, concern arose with some in the community about the lack of masks in sight. With another pep rally on Aug. 27, plans have been put in place for kids who want to opt out. 

There are two options for students who do not want to attend pep rallies. Parents can call their student’s house office and let them know or students can tell their second period teacher. The plan is that students who opt out will go to their house office, but that may change based on the number of students picking that option.

Any time a kid asks for something from an adult here, and specifically to that, we’re not going to force them to go.

— principal Wes Solomon

“Any time a kid asks for something from an adult here, and specifically to that, we’re not going to force them to go,” Principal Wes Solomon said.

He also added teachers who are uncomfortable attending the pep rallies may contact their assistant principal.

Three more pep rallies are planned for this fall, but that may change with COVID-19 cases rising daily in Humble ISD. Solomon said the upcoming pep rallies are still on schedule and he hopes to continue to hold them for those who want to attend.

“The culture of our school is a huge priority for our school, for our campus and for me as the principal,” Solomon said. “The focus this year is involving people and creating that spirit and that culture here on our campus.”

The CDC recommends “universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.” In addition, the Texas Supreme Court ruled on Aug. 19 that local mask mandates can be enforced. Despite Harris County having a mask mandate in place for schools, Humble ISD is remaining mask optional until the appeals process ends.

As of Aug. 20, Kingwood Park was tied for sixth among the 45 Humble ISD schools with 23 reported COVID cases among students. The school was tied for 2nd in the district with nine teacher-reported cases. (Reporting positive COVID cases is encouraged but not mandated for families.)

Cody Cook, who teaches social studies and coaches cross country, said trying to “return to normal” is challenging and that making upcoming pep rallies optional for students is good for everyone.

“We’re going to have to understand that in the era we live in now — no matter how much of a sense of normalcy we’re going to try to return to  — there is never going to be 100% normalcy again,” Cook said. “So if there’s concern with that, it’s important that people are able to express that and also be able to follow it so that they can also find their own normalcy. We can’t just accept that normalcy for one group is acceptable for all groups.”