Principal says no COVID-19 positive kids were sent to school

St. Landry Parish

UPDATE: The principal of Plaisance Middle has contested that any student was sent to school with a positive COVID test result.

Elsie Semien, principal of Plaisance Middle said, “I would like the clarify erroneous information in the news report that referenced out school. The parent DID NOT send her COVID positive child to school. The last day this student attended school was October 22nd. His results were received on October 29th. Even though the symptoms had subsided, this parent kept her child at home awaiting results. She notified the school of the results early Friday morning. In my opinion this parent acted responsibly.”

OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — If your child tests positive for coronavirus, don’t bring them to school. It should go without saying, but it happened in St. Landry Parish.

St. Landry Parish Superintendent Patrick Jenkins said this is not anything isolated to his district.

“Parents are doing a wonderful job of contacting us when their children are sick, but some cases they don’t,” said Jenkins.

Schools across Acadiana do have students who are quarantining as well as students and staff members. At Plaisance Middle School it was two entire classrooms because a parent didn’t let the school know their child tested positive for the virus.

“The kids turned up positive, and they sent them to school,” said Jenkins. “It’s unfortunate that they sent them to school and they were positive, but we have some procedures in place.”

At Plaisance Middle School and in many small schools, students and teachers cross each other’s path enough to quarantine each student and their teacher.

Jenkins said contact tracing and proper PPE have allowed several schools in the district to prevent entire school closures, “It’s doing its job. No one likes to quarantine. No one likes to quarantine, but it’s for the benefit of everyone because of that incubation period between 5-7 days. Anything can happen within that timeframe.”

In the worst cases, schools such as Eunice High have temporarily closed on-campus instruction. Jenkins knows further incidents can be prevented, so he encourages the community to do their part by wearing a mask, keeping six apart, getting a flu shot, and washing their hands.

“If they do those things it will allow us to continue educating children in person,” Jenkins said.

In St. Landry Parish there will be a teacher workday Monday, and schools will be closed for election day Tuesday, but all schools, including Eunice High School, will be returning to the classroom Wednesday.

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