FLOWER MOUND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas mother says her young daughter was exposed to COVID-19 in the classroom just a few days into the school year.
She soon found out even if a student has been in close contact with someone who has the virus, they can still go to school under current state guidelines.
“Kindergarten was supposed to be fun and exciting for her,” said Sidra, who sent her daughter to Prairie Trail Elementary School in Flower Mound with a mask and requested a desk shield to keep her safe.
Sidra says her daughter appeared to be the only one in the classroom taking those precautions.
“I was pretty alarmed,” she said. “And three days into school, my child is exposed to COVID-19 in her classroom.”
Sidra says the school’s vice principal told her that her daughter didn’t need to quarantine, but doctors she consulted with said otherwise. Sidra decided to keep the little girl from school until she can get tested.
“For me, I just feel like my hands are tied,” Sidra said.
Lewisville ISD did confirm one positive case of COVID-19 at Prairie Trail Elementary School.
The district says it does inform families if their child comes into close contact with someone who has tested positive, but they aren’t required to quarantine.
That policy is in accordance with TEA guidelines.
“TEA guidance on close contact and who has to quarantine they say was based on low transmission rates last school year,” said Steven Poole, executive director of the United Educators Association. “Well that was before the delta variant started sweeping through our communities.”
Some teachers and families are worried the loosened guidelines will increase the spread of the virus if children who are asymptomatic carriers bring it to school.
Sidra is seriously considering withdrawing her daughter since the district isn’t offering a virtual option this year.
“As a parent, how am I supposed to put my child back in an environment that’s unsafe for her?” she said. “That’s very frustrating.”
Under the current TEA guidance, a student or staff member who does test positive for COVID-19 has to quarantine for 10 days.
Districts are required to report those positive cases to their local health departments and to the state, but contact tracing isn’t mandatory.
‘We want kids in school, but to do that we need to be smart in how we handle these close contacts or positive cases,” Poole said. “I would hope a lot of the school districts look beyond TEA and look at guidance from their local health departments and the CDC on safe reopening of schools.”