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As WF schools continues working on reentry plan, former custodian says district isn’t prepared for COVID-19

Chris Brunt says he doesn't believe districts have the money to hire additional staff
Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 6:31 PM CDT
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - There’s no doubt, parents are facing a ton of pressure and stress this summer because of an uncertain school year this fall.

West Fargo Public Schools told us on Tuesday it’s currently putting a plan together to keep students and staff safe, however, it isn’t ready to share those details.

A former custodian for West Fargo schools said the district isn’t prepared to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“I honestly don’t feel that districts have the finances to hire more custodians to do the cleaning,” Chris Brunt said.

Brunt said he has 20 years of experience working as a custodian at both a hospital and schools across the Midwest.

Up until last week, Brunt was part of the custodial staff at Independence Elementary for about six years.

“There’s no procedure on how to properly clean a building,” Brunt said.

We asked West Fargo Public Schools for a tour of one of its schools to get an inside look at how the facilities are cleaned. Yet, the district declined saying it won’t make any media accommodations until August.

In an email, the district said it’s in the process of developing a comprehensive plan that it will share with parents and staff on July 31.

Furthermore, the district added that Superintendent Beth Slette held the first reentry team meeting last week.

It also acknowledged that it doesn’t have a maintenance and custodial plan yet and it doesn’t intend to hire more staff related to COVID-19.

“I would not send my child there for what I experienced from the front line as in the cleaning and teamwork,” Brunt said.

Based on his experience, Brunt said West Fargo needs to train its custodial staff more thoroughly.

“If custodians have no expectations or training on how to properly clean, everything is lost. Covid wins,” Brunt said.

West Fargo Public Schools fired Brunt on July 13 citing several reasons including, “displaying disrespectful behavior” towards his supervisors, according to his termination letter.

Brunt said he cares about students and staff, and wants to make sure they’re safe this fall.

The first day of school in West Fargo is on August 25.

For more information on the reopening plans for West Fargo Public Schools, you can click on this link.

Copyright 2020 KVLY. All rights reserved.

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