Liberty University's acting president, Jerry Prevo, has apologized after he encouraged students to engage in a snowball fight without first telling them to follow COVID-19 precautions.
The university came under fire after photos were posted online of students reportedly engaged in a mass outdoor snowball fight without wearing masks or socially distancing.
According to a statement released on the Liberty University website, Prevo admitted that he “led this event” but acknowledged that he "messed up.”
Prevo, who lived in Alaska for more than fifty years, shared that he had initially engaged in a snowball fight with a small group of students. The crowd grew, however, after he invited the students onto the front lawn.
“From that small beginning,” he shared, “I invited them to meet on the front lawn to continue the fun with more students. The student body took to the idea, they showed up in large numbers and had the snowball fight. I stood front and center and led this event,” he wrote.
“I messed up,” he said. Prevo noted that because of the events spur of the moment nature, there was a failure in communication to students regarding COVID-19 precautions.
“We did not think through or communicate the need to wear facial coverings and remain 6 feet apart in compliance with Virginia Governor’s Executive Orders for the suppression of the spread of COVID-19 or even our own COVID-19 Operations Plan,” he wrote. “And the size of the group was not in compliance either.”
Prevo went on to note that the school has made a concerted effort to comply with COVID-19 regulations and contain the diseases spread. He added that “Sunday’s snowball event was not done with a heart of defiance.”
Prevo then offered an apology on behalf of himself and the school’s leadership team.
“I and my leadership team apologize for not leading our students to abide by COVID-19 protocols during this event,” he said before sharing that the school will “rededicate ourselves to our solid commitment to communicating and reinforcing to students, faculty, and staff the mandate to comply with all COVID-19 policies, including physical distancing and the wearing of facial coverings.”
Prevo also noted that social media posts on the event have been taken down as not to “undermine a culture of compliance.”
At the time of this writing, it is unknown if anyone contracted COVID-19 as a result of the event.
h/t: The Christian Post
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Daily Fodder, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.