LOGAN, W.Va. — During the meeting of the Logan County Board of Education held in the evening February 23, the group heard public comment from two parents who requested the board close school to limit exposure and spread of the flu.
The parents also requested the board have the county’s schools deep cleaned.
“Everything single thing needs to be cleaned,” noted one parent.
One of the speakers explained her children have asthma and are especially susceptible to influenza; the speaker added she would be keeping her children home until the spread of the flu stops.
The board agreed the speaker’s rights as parent meant it was her choice to keep her children home noting every child in the school system is allowed 10 home note excuses for absences.
President of the LCBOE Paul Hardesty explained the current percentage of absentees at the county’s schools does not meet the threshold for closing schools.
The parent noted schools several other nearby states have experienced deaths of children do to the flu.
“People are sending their kids to school sick. I want to know what it’s going to take for these kids to be able to stay home, stay safe and not be sick. This is a health and safety concern for me,” the parent added.
“All I can go on is data,” Hardesty explained presenting a spreadsheet of absences in the county’s schools. “We can’t just arbitrarily close schools.”
Hardesty explained Hugh Dingess Elementary School was closed February 9 because nearly 40 percent of the children were absent.
Going through the list, Hardesty noted the school with the highest percentage of absences was Chapmanville Regional High School which was 20 percent.
The speaker reiterated their point that the schools needed to be thoroughly cleaned because they claimed Logan Grade School is not clean.
The speaker claimed rodents were running through the halls.
Hardesty noted the board had not received any complaints on the cleanliness of Logan Grade School.
A second parent making a public address at the meeting supported the first speaker’s claim Logan Grade was not clean saying it was infested with roaches.
Early the next morning of February 24, the Logan Banner was invited inside of Logan Grade School for a walk through with principal Cheryl Deskins.
Deskins explained she had not received any complaints on the school’s cleanliness adding the school’s custodians work hard to keep the flu from spreading by making sure door knobs and drinking fountains are wiped clean during the day.
During the visit, the Logan Banner was granted access to Logan Elementary’s classrooms, hallway and kitchen area.
No pests were observed by this reporter during the visit and the school appeared to be thoroughly clean.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 or by email at [email protected]