Baker Mayfield showed the maturity of a franchise quarterback as he tried to put a spin on Myles Garrett hitting Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with Rudolph’s dislodged helmet. “The reality is, he’s going to get suspended,” Mayfield said after his Browns defeated their rival from Pittsburgh 21-7. “We don’t know how long, and that hurts our team. We can’t do that. We can’t continue to hurt this team. It’s inexcusable.” The corresponding punishment should be taking Garrett, the team’s top defensive player, off the field for the remainder of the 2019 NFL season. It would be a harsh reaction, but perhaps it’s what’s needed for the Browns’ players to finally learn from their actions.It does not matter what Rudolph’s role in the incident was. It doesn’t matter what Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey did in retaliation. The Steelers and Bengals have been down this road, too, but nothing this ugly has happened. This sets a precedent, and the NFL should take full advantage of the opportunity to ensure it never happens again. VIDEO: Steelers-Browns game highlightsThink about what happened. Garrett took off the helmet of a player who had suffered a scary concussion just six weeks earlier against the Ravens, and then hit that player in the head with it. Rudolph could have been seriously injured. For a league that’s trying to preach player safety, there is no justifiable scenario other than Garrett serving a multiple-game suspension. Four games is not enough. Oakland’s Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the remainder of the season after a much less egregious, yet still dangerous, offense in Week 4. Burfict has a longer track record, but Garrett had developed a reputation this season for roughing the passer and dirty plays. His actions Thursday cannot be excused by claiming emotion or “heat of the moment.” That’s simply not good enough. Myles Garrett, 2019 dirty playsWeek 1: Punched Titans TE Delanie Walker after whistleWeek 2: Ended Jets QB Trevor Siemian’s season on late hitWeek 11: Struck Steelers QB Mason Rudolph over head with helmet@NFL should suspend him for the rest of season #Browns pic.twitter.com/Uf3hi5K4L7— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) November 15, 2019Thursday’s win should have been a proud moment for a Browns team that took its lumps while starting out 2-6 but appeared to be turning a corner to possible playoff contention heading into the final six games of the season. Now, they will likely be without Garrett, who had 10 sacks in 10 games, for some or all of that run.”I made a mistake, I lost my cool and I regret it. It’s going to come back to hurt our team,” Garrett said after the game (video via Cleveland.com).Garrett’s actions, however, are just a symptom of a organizationwide condition that has plagued the Browns all season. IYER: Helmet swing adds to the chaos in ClevelandThe reality is Cleveland is an undisciplined football team under first-year coach Freddie Kitchens. It had eight penalties for 121 yards Thursday; for the season, it has 87 penalties for 822 yards, a record-breaking pace. The flags have contributed greatly to the losing record, and there have been four ejections this season. The lack of discipline came out at the worst possible time against Pittsburgh. Why would Garrett do something like that? AFC North games get dirty, but the Browns can’t pin this on the Steelers being the antagonist. Not this time. Not when receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson left the field earlier in the game with concussions after helmet-to-helmet hits. Certainly not when Garrett ripped off Rudolph’s helmet.No, Rudolph shouldn’t go looking for a fight with his helmet off, but Garrett hit him with that helmet on national television. Maybe that ends up on a few posters and Twitter profiles as people, with a warped sense of pride, try to say the rivalry is back. Nobody should be proud of those actions. When you have to ask the question “What if he was killed?” and actually mean it, without being overly dramatic, then that’s a problem.MORE: How the Browns beat the Steelers If Garrett is suspended for the year and the Browns don’t make the playoffs, then the incident will be the epitaph for their season. It was cheap, dirty and a reflection of an immature team that could not handle beating its rival for the first time in a long time. Garrett is responsible, but so is Kitchens, the front office and an organization that simply cannot tolerate such behavior. This isn’t a social media outburst by former safety Jermaine Whitehead, or former wide receiver Antonio Callaway being suspended for a second time this season. Those players are easy to cut. Garrett is a No. 1 overall pick and one of the faces of the franchise, and he just committed an act that is on the short list of the most heinous things ever done during a NFL game. It’s indefensible. The reality also is the Browns are going to have to live with that ugliness the rest of the season. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll learn from it. Mayfield, for his part, stepped up and said the right things afterward. The incident does hurt the team. It is inexcusable. It does take away from what could have been a season-altering victory for an organization that has been punched in the mouth since 1999. The Browns finally punched back on the field for 59 minutes, and then Garrett undid it all with one swing of the helmet. It landed on Rudolph’s head, but it’s another self-inflicted knockout by Cleveland. The NFL can’t take all the emotion out of its decision, but there is only one solution here, just one action it can take to make the problem go away.That’s making sure Garrett doesn’t return until 2020.
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Clear Lake School Board approves “Return to Learn” plan with students in classrooms five days a week (VIDEO)
CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake School Board Wednesday night approved a “Return to Learn” plan that will have students going to school five days a week and will require the use of masks in most situations. A virtual option will be available to students, but mandatory attendance would be required.Superintendent Doug Gee says the school district is in a good position to start with all the kids back in the classroom and be able to move things online if the situation warrants. “My thought would be to have them all come back, and if we have to shift into a hybrid or a virtual we do that, but let’s get them all back. Then we’d have the ability to if we start getting a lot of kids that are testing positive or being quarantined, then we can shift into a hybrid or a continuous virtual learning plan.”Gee says masks use will be required for students and staff while in the classroom. He says the school district has used CARES Act funding to purchase two bandanna type face coverings for each student and staff member. “Due to some of the latest things that are being talked about and recommended, I would tend to lean more toward requiring them, and requiring them for all. Any time we can get them off of them and they can be socially distanced and the kids can not have to wear them, we would do that.”Gee says a survey of parents showed that a majority wanted their kids to attend classes in person this fall. “I got more from what I read, more parents that really wanted and needed their kids back in school from that standpoint. Most of them wanted them back normally, and usually the ones that wanted to be virtual had some at-risk situations at home.”Gee says the recommendation from the American Association of Pediatrics is that kids need some sense of normalcy in being back in the classroom. “They’ve come out very boldly and said our kids, especially our young kids, need to be in school and socializing with their peers. There are far more harmful effects happening to them by not doing that as opposed to COVID. Even the zero to 10 especially, the symptoms are not there and they aren’t transmitting.”Gee says they will ask parents to check students’ health prior to sending them to school each day. “Right now the guidance from the Department of Public Health is that it’s really not worth the time that it takes to do the temperature screening by your staff. What we’re going to encourage parents to do is every day to take your kid’s temperature, if it’s above 100.3 that they would keep them home. If they are showing any kinds of signs or symptoms of COVID that they would keep them home, check in with the office.”Gee adds that if they receive any new guidance from public health officials regarding school that it will be worked into the “Return to Learn” plan.You can watch Wednesday night’s school board meeting below