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21 September 2009

H1N1

I knew it was a matter of time, but H1N1 (or the Swine Flu) has found its way into the kid's school. KK's teacher was taken to the hospital on Saturday, but she was at school on Friday with a fever because the class had field trip. Students from grades second to fifth were on a bus with this teacher (including mine) and then spent the day with her. Parents are freaking out; administrators are being called over the teacher's decision to come to school with a fever. I have mentioned to some vocal parents that the school is no very tolerant of teachers being absent. During my brief tenure, we would receive emails telling us that there were certain days we were not allowed to be absent because they lacked sufficient classroom coverage. So how did this all come out over a weekend - Facebook.

A friend of mine is Facebook friends with this teacher. The teacher posted her diagnosis on Facebook, and my friend emailed me. I really debated what to do with the information, but I kept coming back to the fact that if I were an unknowing parent who had a kid with respiratory issues I'd want to know. I sent an email to the principal and the teacher to verify the information, and then sent an email to the few parents I know. I am obviously aware that theses parents then contacted other classroom parents until one parent with everyone's email address sent out a mass email. The teacher has been very upfront and sent me back an email confirming the diagnosis and telling me to watch my own child for symptoms. The principal did respond to my email about having the classroom cleaned, but made no attempt to notify parents. Yet another reason parents are furious. There is an available system at the school for both recorded phone notification and email notification to parents, Neither was used.

For today, I am keeping my kids home. Mostly because if the teacher passed it on to another student, it could be four to seven days before we know it. Also my son has cold like symptoms so no need to risk it; obviously KK will have a substitute for the week.

The questions for the day: am I over-reacting by keeping the kids home for today? If someone publishes a medical diagnosis, is that permission for public release? Has the school fumbled yet again or are parents blowing this out of proportion?

For today, we'll just be hanging around like this guy . . .

4 comments:

misschris said...

Here in S's school (and all of France) if there are two cases the school will close for a week. Didn't they talk about this at the beginning of the year with parents?

hexe said...

No - no discussion. Just a letter that they have put our extra hand sanitizer and are encouraging students and teachers to was their hands. Yesterday we got an email that again reviewed the hand sanitizer stuff and said if kids are sick keep them home. No mention of the teacher who came to school sick and has now been diagnosised. While the school could not name the teacher, they could have said there was another confirmed case (this is the second as we received a note when a student was diagnosed back in August). Got to love the total lack of preparedness (insert sarcastic snort here).

Expat Traveler said...

They say here stay home if you are sick and use hand sanitizer.

It's better for you to keep them home, at least you are also taking the precautions...

Sometimes you need to take the preparing for your family and move on like that...

Merisi said...

I have been assured that this flu is right now probably more benign that the strain that hit us during past seasons.

A friend of mine had a child come home from summer camp, unbeknownst to them with that flu.
The rest of the family caught it, father took Tamiflu, recovered after 3 days, mother was out sick 5 and the child himself was only hanging around, not really feeling too sick.