Elementary Closes For Two Days Due to Flu Outbreak - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Elementary Closes For Two Days Due to Flu Outbreak

DUNCAN, Okla_The nasty flu virus that's been ravaging people all across the country has left its mark on one Southwest Oklahoma elementary school.

Plato Elementary in Duncan will be closed all day Thursday and Friday because 25% of the school's students have been absent due to flu and stomach virus.

Superintendent Sherry Labyer said she's never had to close a school because of illness, but felt it was the only option.

Walking through the parking lot at Plato Elementary during dismissal time Wednesday afternoon, there weren't too many kids. Parents are alarmed by the outbreak of the flu virus and agree if closing the school for a couple of days will help get the kids healthy, it's the right decision.

Wednesday at noon Superintendent Sherry Labyer made the call to close down Plato Elementary for the rest of the week.

"I agree with what they're doing, just, I mean, so many kids are getting sick, it's just scary, really, " said Belinda Knabe, a parent at the school.

Over the past week, Plato Elementary's attendance has dropped from it's usual 99% all the way down to 75%, all due to illness.

"Flu can become complicated quickly, and we talk about student safety all of the time and to me this is a part of student safety. That is why I made the decision to close the school for Thursday and Friday based on student safety, " said Superintendent Sherry Labyer.

Out of the 11 schools in the district, Plato is the only one that has been hit this hard by the flu virus.

"I'm very puzzled at that, " said Labyer. "It's like it's an anomaly, and we're very concerned. And of course taking precaution, cleaning and sanitizing and closing up water fountains and things that are germ breeders."

Duncan Public School's policy is that a student be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school.

"What's happening with students is that perhaps they're leaving home in the morning, maybe running a low-grade fever, not really feeling that bad, maybe not telling mom or dad that they're feeling bad, and they get here and they're running fever, they're contagious, " said Labyer.

Labyer is hoping these extra days off will give parents time to monitor their kids and get them in better health.

"I want to encourage parents to go over hand washing techniques and coughing into their elbow and all of the things that we teach children at school, " said Labyer.

Although the students have the rest of the week off, teachers and staff will be hard at work. For the next two days they will be cleaning, sanitizing and making sure everything is as germ-free as possible for when the students return on Monday.

For information on how to treat the flu or what to do if your child is sick, you can visit Duncan Public School's website and click on the "flu season" link.

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