Parents concerned after school sends out notice of COVID-19 cases at Brunswick Co. charter school

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - While most public schools are still laying preparations for the Fall, many schools have already sent kids back into the classroom.

Schools like Charter Day School in Leland are pioneering what this school year looks like in terms of COVID-19 safety protocols, but many parents reached out to WECT to share their concerns after several people within the school tested positive for the coronavirus.

The school has sent out several email notices about several COVID-19 cases, with parents saying they’ve been notified of 21 positive cases already. Just 11 days into the new school year, parents like Keysha Redd say their children are already back at home.

“It was really scary when I got that text and it said she can’t come back to school because she was exposed to COVID; I’m like freaking out,” said Redd.

Her daughter has yet to show any symptoms of the virus, but Redd was only notified about the possible exposure two days ago.

Before her 6th grade daughter was sent home to quarantine, the 11-year-old told her mother her class was half empty.

It’s a similar story for 3rd grade too according to mom, Kassie Cumbee, who also has a child at home in quarantine.

“We didn’t think it was gonna happen to us and once it did, I was kind of like oh ‘OK now it’s happening to everybody,’” said Cumbee.

According to families, this school year began without strict distancing procedures or temperature taking in the carpool line. The school also had a mask optional policy for students and staff, against the advice of the NC Safe Schools Toolkit.

While supply lists asked parents to help provide safety supplies like disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer at the beginning of the school year, many parents don’t believe the safety protocols were as strong as the previous school year.

“I just think they failed us all as far as taking all the protocols away,” said Redd. “I don’t know if they thought COVID was gone, I mean I would’ve never let my daughter go back if I would’ve known there was no hand sanitizer, no cleaning of the desks; it was just a mess to know within seven days of school, I had 12 text messages of possible cases.”

However, after notice of the outbreak at the school, parents were emailed about new safety protocols, including seating assignments that account for a minimum of three feet of distancing and temperature checks in the classroom went into effect Wednesday. Now masks must be worn on the bus, but everywhere else, they’re still optional for students.

“I do feel like the precautions maybe were a little late, but I don’t feel its the fault of the school. We’ve all gotten to the point where we thought all the vaccinations and all their social distancing had saved us,” said Cumbee. “I’m wondering if they need to do what they do with the flu and take a break, let the school air out and sanitize it.”

“I wish that they’d think about the children and let the politics go out of this, and do what they feel is right for Charter Day School,” said Redd.

WECT has reached out to Charter Day School for comment. We have yet to hear back on their response to the safety measures in place or an updated count on how many children are out on quarantine or have tested positive for the virus.

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