Should DISD close in the wake of swine flu fears?

You know it’s just a matter of time before a DISD student turns up with swine flu, which will result in a huge public debate and a difficult decision for DISD administrators: To close or not to close.

Fort Worth closed its school district and sent about 80,000 students home after one student was confirmed to have swine flu. According to the DMN article about the closing, Tarranty County health officials recommended the schools be closed, and so they were.

But given the number of confirmed swine flu cases in the country (something less than 100) and given that more than 300 million people live in the U.S. and given that there has only been one confirmed death in the U.S. from swine flu, is this much ado about nothing at this point?

If kids aren’t in school, do you think they will be sequestered in their homes, in the case of Fort Worth through May 8, when school is expected to resume again? I doubt it — instead, they’ll probably be trolling malls and shopping centers, exchanging the same amount of germs they would in school, and perhaps spreading whatever they may or may not have to shopkeepers and others who might otherwise not have as much contact with students.

I don’t have an answer, but I feel for the people at DISD who will ultimately have to make this decision. Based on what I’m seeing now, though, I wouldn’t close the schools.



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  • Rick Wamre

    The DMN education blog reports that DISD has just closed Webster Elementary, Hampton and Ledbetter, effective tomorrow (it’s still open through the end of the day today) until at least May 11 because a case of swine flu has been confirmed among students at the school.