Frustrated parent calls Whistleblower about how schools are handling COVID-19

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 8:33 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -

One mom called our Whistleblower Hotline over her son having to quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive.

“As a parent, this is definitely a struggle,” said Fargo mother, Shelly Brackins.

Shelly Brackins' two sons go to Lincoln Elementary in Fargo.

The school called her last week and said her son Isaiah needed to quarantine for 14 days after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

She was frustrated when she was told her other son Elijah, also Isaiah’s roommate was still able to go to school.

“Immediately, my brain was just like what,” said Brackins. “I don’t feel comfortable doing that.”

Brackins looked into enrolling the boys in Virtual Academy but said her request was denied because it wasn’t a medical emergency.

They say Virtual Academy is closed unless a family has a medical need and because of staffing needs and current enrollment levels in the program.

“I don’t know what else to call COVID-19 other than a medical emergency,” said Brackins. “I’m always going to put my boys before my job, for anything. I don’t think any parent wouldn’t.”

Fargo Public Schools said that if a student tests positive for COVID-19, a sibling would have to quarantine since they are a close contact.

In Brackins' situation, close contacts to close contacts do not have to quarantine.

Brackins is one of several parents left wondering what options they have if a similar situation arises. Not only for their child’s education, but quarantining and the likelihood of having to miss work.

“I don’t feel what is happening is fair to the kids for their education, to us parents, to the city,” said Brackins.

We found out West Fargo Public Schools has the same guidelines on close contacts and distance learning options. Only new students enrolling in the district can do the virtual program.

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