FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2020: Franklin High School Football team drills crosstown rival Oak Creek, 35-3 to end their regular season undefeated.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2020: Very early in the day the WIAA announces Franklin will play in a special 4-day tournament beginning November 13 with a game vs. Menomonee Falls. There are no state playoffs this year. The other two teams in the bracket are defending state champions Muskego and Hartland Arrowhead.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2020: Franklin Public School District Administrator Dr. Judy Mueller sent a notice to Franklin High School families that read in part:
We have been monitoring our metrics that relate to the spread of COVID-19. At this point, the number of positive staff and student COVID-19 cases at Franklin High School has reached the 3% level of high concern, and we are moving forward with virtual learning for the next two weeks.
Effective Monday, November 9th, Franklin High School, including athletics and in-person activities, are temporarily suspended for the next 14 calendar days.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2020: The WIAA announces on its website that Franklin is forfeiting its November 12 game vs. Menomonee, ending Franklin’s season.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2020: Over the weekend questions were raised as to who was involved in the decision to cancel athletics. Franklin Mayor Steve Olson wrote on social media, “To be accurate, our Heath Officer has been off today but did consult with the (school) district in their decision.” Olson maintained this was a school district matter and decision.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2020: I sent the following inquiry: Larry Gamble, you are president of the Franklin School Board. I respectfully ask: Do you have a comment about the school district’s abrupt decision to make FHS go virtual for two weeks, but more specifically suspending athletics for 14 calendar days, essentially ending the football team’s undefeated season and depriving them of the opportunity to play in one, possibly two tournament games?
Gamble finally sent a response many hours later.
Kevin, thanks for contacting me. By now many people have seen the TMJ4 interview and Franklin parents got the letter from the Administration. I understand the heartbreak of these players however our district developed the metrics to keep our students safely in the classroom before we returned to school. We listened to our families and came up with an effective plan. Up to now, it was working but timing can be fickle, and now is when the metrics triggered a short term converting to virtual learning. I stand with the Administrators who worked diligently to have our schools open and developed a plan to keep our students and staff safe. It’s not an easy decision, but it is the safe decision.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2020: Lance Allan did a report on this issue on WTMJ-TV’s 6:00 PM news. In the report Franklin football player Jarrick Miller said, “See I don’t want to take that opportunity away from them, but it is a little frustrating to know that swim and the school play get to continue when we’ve also done our part, and we don’t get that same opportunity.”
Franklin Athletic Director Jordan Hein explained why football is shut down and girl’s swimming is allowed to continue to state.
“The WIAA designates football as a high-risk sport, it’s a contact sport, it’s got a large roster. You cannot effectively play football, and maintain social distancing. Swim is designated as a low-risk sport. It’s a non-contact sport. You’re in a chlorinated pool. It’s difficult, I know it’s hard because we want equity. But I also believe that it’s my role to advocate and do my best to present and provide opportunities for all of our students and this is my next play.”
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2020: Franklin’s Board of Health holds a meeting and hears from angry parents. Some accuse Mayor Olson of not caring about the students and is more concerned about his weight. Olson says he was slammed with some of the most vile comments he’s ever heard during his time in office. He says the school district made the right call.
TUESDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 10, 2020: Dr. Mueller sends another notice to franklin families:
At 4:30pm this afternoon, I was informed by the Franklin Health Department that they have issued a Health Order to cease all extra-curricular events (including all athletics and activities) at Franklin High School to prevent further COVID-19 transmission. This comes following our recent decision to temporarily close Franklin High School for in-person learning as was shared with FHS families on Saturday.
As the Health Order states:
- Extra-curricular events (including all athletics and activities) at Franklin High School are to cease effective November 9, 2020.
- This order will remain in effect for the duration of the virtual learning period at Franklin High School or until a superseding order is issued.
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2020: The Franklin School District flip-flops.