Dean’s Office Explains Mysterious Vaccination Announcements


Thomas Krukar, Editor-in-Chief

As many students and faculty at DeMatha have noticed, the last several weeks have been filled with announcements from Mr. Dickerson to student-athletes warning them about their vaccination status. It is reasonable to expect that many students would be confused by these announcements, and some may have been left wondering what prompted the Dean’s Office to make them in the first place. But amidst the uncertainty of the announcements, the Dean’s Office wants to clarify their message to all student-athletes. 

Throughout the past several weeks, DeMatha’s Dean of Students, Mr. Shaka Dickerson, has made announcements both over the intercom and through in-person meetings with students about clarifying their vaccination status before winter sports begin. Although the announcements were somewhat confusing at first, the Dean of Students Office says that they are simply asking students to “come clean” about any inaccuracies in their vaccination status that they have yet to tell DeMatha.   

Both Mr. Dickerson and the assistant Dean of Students, Mr. Jamie O’Connor, explained  that the school recently discovered several students with inaccurate documentation regarding their vaccination status. Although upset at the violation, Mr. Dickerson stated that he was more upset that those students chose to break DeMatha’s “honor code.” Anyone who has been a part of the DeMatha community knows how important the honor code at the school is, and the breaking of the code of honor could lead to severe consequences or punishments.    

DeMatha put in place a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for its student-athletes starting on October 1, but assistant dean Mr. O’Connor admitted that “the school was playing catch up because the mandate was put in place halfway through the fall sports season.” After catching several students with inaccurate documentation, the school’s administration decided to warn students participating in winter sports about the repercussions they would face if they decided to lie about their vaccination status. 

Mr. Dickerson noted how important it is for DeMatha to protect the health and safety of their students, and he emphasized that “there was no politics involved in the decision to institute this vaccine mandate.” Mr. Dickerson both acknowledges and respects the different opinions people have about the vaccine, but he thinks that the decision to institute the mandate “is the choice that will most benefit the health and safety of DeMatha’s student-athletes.”

After a brief period of understandable confusion surrounding Mr. Dickerson’s announcements regarding the vaccination status of winter sports athletes, it is clear that the Dean’s Office is putting forth their best effort to ensure the health and safety of DeMatha’s student-athletes. Both Mr. Dickerson and Mr. O’Connor were in agreement that if one is untruthful regarding their vaccination status, they could very well be putting those around them at risk and in danger.