Fear of Ebola in New Jersey keeps new African students home
theGRIO REPORT - Two East African children will remain home past the 21-day waiting period before beginning elementary school in New Jersey, due to backlash from district parents about fears of Ebola...
Two East African children will remain home past the 21-day waiting period before beginning elementary school in New Jersey, due to backlash from district parents about fears of Ebola.
The young children moved from Rwanda and were scheduled to begin classes at Howard Yocum Elementary School in Maple Shade, New Jersey, Monday, but that is no longer the case.
A letter from the school’s nurse was sent home to teachers, informing them of the new students and adding that she would be “taking the students’ temperature three times a day for 21 days.”
Word of the letter and of the new students quickly spread throughout the district.
Even though they are symptom-free and are not from a country with an Ebola outbreak, the Rwandan students’ parents decided to keep them home another week before starting school.
The family’s decision was made after some fellow parents allegedly threatened to keep their kids home and even several employees allegedly said they would not work.
“Anybody from that area should just stay there until all this stuff is resolved. There’s nobody affected here; let’s just keep it that way,” parent John Povlow told Fox Philly.
Superintendent of the Maple Shade School District Beth Norcia announced the parents’ decision Saturday.
The Maple Shade School District takes the health of all students and staff very seriously. As many of you are aware, we have students who have spent time in the eastern portion of Africa that were scheduled to start in our schools on Monday. This area of Africa has been unaffected by the Ebola virus. Despite the fact that the students are symptom-free and not from an affected area, the parents have elected to keep their children home past the 21 day waiting period. The family is looking forward to joining the Maple Shade Schools the following week.
“I think for another couple weeks. I don’t think it would hurt,” fellow parent Billy Dennison said to Fox. “I mean you have a lot of children that are involved, so I don’t think it would hurt.”
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