Schools Shut Down, Attendance Drops Over Ebola Fears

Two schools in the Royse City School District where shut down Friday as crews conducted a thorough cleaning.

Superintendent Kevin Worthy said the mother of two students at Davis Elementary and Ruth Cherry Intermediate is a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian and treated one of the Ebola patients.

“It’s important to us to send a message to our parents and our students and our faculty that we take this seriously. No one told us to do this. We’re doing it to show our parents and our community we’re committed to the safety of our student,” Worthy said.

Grapevine Independent School District officials said three students and a staff member were on the plane with Ebola-infected nurse Amber Vinson.

All four will be kept out of school for 21 days, while the district did a deep cleaning of Silver Lake Elementary and Grapevine Middle School Thursday night.

In Garland ISD, Ebola fears have meant a dramatic decrease in attendance. There, the parents of four district students were also on the flight with Vinson.

They attend North Garland High School and Schrade Middle School.

“We heard about it yesterday so everyone started freaking out and stuff so no one pretty much came to school today, including some teachers,” said North Garland High School student Tiera Locks.

The school said there is no threat to the students and they will still be able to attend class.

However, maintenance crews did a thorough cleaning of both schools Thursday night and will hire a specialty cleaning crew to go over both schools during the weekend.

Friday, attendance was down 20 percent at North Garland High School and 43 percent at Schrade Middle School.

While schools are working to keep families safe, the Dallas County Medical Society physicians released a statement Friday urging schools not to considering closing due to fears about Ebola.

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