Monroe City Schools Board balks at adopting parents choice COVID-19 quarantine option

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 10:11 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - At a regular meeting on October 5th, the Monroe City School Board balked at adopting a policy allowing parents to decide if their child needs to isolate before returning to school if they are a close COVID-19 contact.

The option was announced by the Lousiana Department of Education (LDOE) on September 29th, citing too many missed school days for students.

Monroe City Schools Superintendant Dr. Brent Vidrine was not in favor of the idea saying, “I am going to recommend that we stick by our current procedure.” The current procedure requires students to isolate themselves at home if they are exposed to COVID.

Sandie Lollie, the President of the Monroe Federation of Teachers, applauded the board for their decision.

“I am very proud of the board, and Dr. Vidrine for leaving it as is,” said Lollie.

Lollie says she’s heard from several teachers who say the option announced by LDOE doesn’t have their best interests at heart.

“There was a lot of concern among our employees, staff, classified and certified interacting with students who may or may not have COVID,” explained Lollie.

School Board Member Jennifer Haneline, who works in public health, has problems with the LDOE option.

“All along, we have been following recommendations from the CDC and the Department of Health,” explained Haneline. “So all of a sudden, to follow the recommendation of the Department of Education does not make sense.”

Hanline added that the district’s current policy is working.

“If you look at our employee sheet of who is sick, it’s next to none,” said Haneline. “What we are doing is working.”

Lollie thought it was pretty simple saying, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

The Board also approved a COVID-19 sick leave policy for staff, giving them five paid off days if they contract the virus.

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