Carter in the classroom

Parents Challenging Schools to Strengthen COVID-19 Protocols Beyond Masks

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Masks are top of mind these days but some parents are starting to question other policies and procedures schools are using to keep students safe.

From Mansfield to McKinney, parents have butted heads over whether masks should be required for all students in school.

While it's become a national debate, mother Leslie Williams has had other worries in the classroom.

"The school district does need to sit down and look at the numbers and figure out why we had 20 positives in one day," she said.

Williams is a professional contact tracer, tracking cases daily for a medical company. Yes, she wants masks required in the classroom but says she's been more worried about contact tracing in school. She says it's a huge job that school nurses just aren't capable of doing.

"I had a case that had 450 contacts," said Williams. "They need to get with a third party company and do actual tracing or let the nurses tell the teachers."

Williams also raised questions about the cleanliness of schools and the amount of sanitizing being done on campus.

NBC 5 checked with districts all over North Texas and found differing rules and commitments to cleaning. 

McKinney says they have custodians cleaning and disinfecting day and night.

Northwest ISD reports cleaning at night but disinfecting a few days each week.

Richardson is installing air scrubbers in every classroom, but playgrounds are open in Garland.

Dallas County Health Director Philip Huang says cleaning protocols are very important, but all the steps are.

"It's one piece to slow down the efforts and the spread, it's certainly not the only thing and not the most important thing," said Huang. "Vaccines, masking, all of it contributes as one piece of it."

TEA has told schools they need to contact trace and clean but specifics on how and how often are left up to each district.

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