More than 100 elementary school students miss school due to flu


PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — As the national concern surrounding the Coronaviruus continues, the flu is causing issues for the Prince George Public Schools community.

Sources told 8News Friday that more than 100 elementary school children have missed class this week at David A. Harrison Elementary. Parents said they feel disappointed that the school system didn’t let them know sooner about what was going on.

“I was upset and we kept her home from school today because we didn’t want to risk her getting anything,” David A. Harrison E.S. Parent Katie Bradshaw said.

A friend associated with Harrison E.S. told Bradshaw that more than 100 students have been out of school this week due to the flu or other illnesses.

“It’s just crazy, it’s kind of like unbelievable,” Bradshaw said.

8News reached out to Prince George County Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Pennycuff, who confirmed they have experienced absences from sicknesses. However, she did not say the specific number of absences.

Bradshaw told 8News she believes the school system should have notified parents if they knew there was an issue — which they haven’t.

“If you have a child like mine who is primarily non-verbal, she’s not going to come tell me anything hurts until it’s like really, really bad and we’re like something is going on,” Bradshaw said

In a statement from Prince George County Schools, Superintendent Pennycuff said they are making every effort to keep the schools clean and safe for children.

The absences Prince George County Public Schools are experiencing during this time of year are due to a variety of illnesses. Every effort is being made to keep the school and classroom environment clean and safe so children can be present and learn. These efforts include custodial staff working additional hours to disinfect and sanitize our buildings and buses. Safeguarding the health and well-being of our students and staff is a priority for our school division.”

Prince George County Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Pennycuff

“What kind of cleaning is it going to be? Obviously the custodians are working and cleaning and doing what they’re supposed to, but if what they’re doing isn’t working?” asked Bradshaw.

Bradshaw and others said, if this is as serious as people inside the school said, they’d like to see the school closed for at least a day to get a thorough cleaning done.

Make sure to stay with 8News for updates.

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