I recently received a copy of a letter sent to the Board of Education in Miller Place and would like to share it with the community. What are your thoughts?
As a parent I entrust my children to Miller Place School District for their education. There are many safeguards in place for their safety; however, I am concerned about the wellbeing of their health. I am familiar with New York State’s Green Cleaning Program, and appreciate the effort of using healthier cleaning products for people and the environment. I am concerned by the frequency of illnesses my children have acquired this school year.
My son has previously not had any respiratory issues, this year he was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease, after two spells of bronchitis. I know the volume of students with repeated infections of Strep A is high. The risk of using antibiotics is both long term and short term. I do not expect perfect health while in elementary school, but the amount of illness in AMPS is astounding. It is my understanding common surfaces are not disinfected on a routine basis. Each year influenza is a threat in all populations, the school is aware of this by the placing posters in the lobby showing the importance of vaccination.
The Center for Disease Control provides recommendations on their website http://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/cleaning.htm . Public schools are typically not institutions of best practice scenarios in school health, parents send their children in on Tylenol so they may go without a fever, they do not wait 24 hours after a fever has broken before returning to school, and also do not necessarily wait the physician recommended time before returning to school after starting an antibiotic. It should then be the responsibility of the school to at least attempt to clean and disinfect to prevent or slow the spread of illnesses.
As a parent I am accountable to the state and school district by complying with immunizations and health physicals, allowing the state to have access to my child’s BMI. Where is the districts accountability in preventing the spread of communicable diseases like Strep and countless viruses? These illnesses ultimately mean less time spent in the classroom, and less time learning. If the school is kept to a cleaner standard then student attendance will improve, not just with my own children but within the student population.