Tuesday, October 27, 2009

H1N1 vs. Lice

Please help me understand this...my son's elementary school will send home a letter if there is a student with lice but will not contact you if there is a child with a confirmed case of H1N1!!??

I called my son's school last Thursday to find out the protocol if there is a student at our school with the H1N1. I was very shocked to find out that they would not be contacting us if there was a student with the virus. During my conversation with the school secretary (whom I do like very much) she told me at least twice that there have been no known confirmed cases at our school.

That Thursday night I found out that indeed there was a child at our school with a confirmed case of H1N1 and ironically that child was in my son's class. I emailed the mom that night and found out her son was really sick and she had notified the school and dropped off paperwork from her doctor to the school office on Tuesday morning. So this infuriated me even more, because I was told there were no cases of H1N1 at our school. After learning this news I immediately emailed our new school principal. The letter had 3 main points, one- I was lied to and told there were no cases of the H1N1 at my school when there was a confirmed case that they knew about on Tuesday. Two- I feel that if we are notified if a student has head lice we should be notified if there is a student with the H1N1, and three- other schools in our school district are getting notified why aren't we?

By Friday mid-morning I still had not heard from the principal so I called the district office and was transferred to the district nurse, basically I was asking what the policies are if a student has the H1N1. I was more frustrated talking to the district nurse, because he did not know...there were not policies in place. I told him I knew of at least one confirmed case at my school and again--I was frustrated he did not seem to know about this and asked me twice what school my son went to. He said he took my number and said he would call me back, but this is Tuesday and I have yet to hear from him.

By 5:00 pm I finally received an email from my Principal, very generic. Here is an excerpt on how they are handling this:

We follow the guidelines from the County Health System and County Department of Education.
The guidelines are if a parent calls in to say their child has H1N1 we than request a doctor’s note.
That note is faxed to Student Services and sent onto the county.
We have not received verification from the county for confirmed case of H1N1.

A small group of us has found out there is actually another confirmed case at our school, yet they are telling us parents there are no cases of the H1N1 at our school, but have told the teachers which children have the virus??

I am now off to the phones and I am going to see what I can find out from the County Health-Public Health, maybe they can shed some light to this. Another "Concerned Mom" wrote to the superintendent of the school and has a call into her assistant. I hope by following up on this we get #1 the truth about the cases at our school--no more denying them and #2 that we are promptly notified if there is a child that has the H1N1.

I still can't believe that we are notified if a child has head lice but not the H1N1, hey we even got a letter home to inform kids on body odor and to shower often and use deodorant.

Thanks for listening - please share your thoughts and what policy your school has in place.