By JAMIE SHERROD, JAMES PAXSON
TUSCOLA COUNTY, Michigan (WNEM) — Local parents are outraged over what one Tuscola County high school calls the Care Room.
Parents refer to the basement room which is for students who potentially were exposed to COVID-19, as “The Dungeon” and is potentially putting students at risk.
“It’s a cold no heat no ventilation they use it for storage for all the band equipment,” said Richard Martin, a Vassar High School parent.
Martin’s 16-year-old and 14-year-old sons are students at the school. He said he found out about the Care Room during a school board meeting last month.
“I thought ‘the Care Room.’ I heard of it before, and I figured it was upstairs or in some office or a classroom,” Martin said.
The room is located beneath the auditorium.
“I guess they take the positive cases once they find them and put them in the little shield off shower curtain area,” Martin said. “The other kids that are contact traced have to sit at the table and wait.”
Martin said his concerns were not addressed by the school board. He decided to publicize them on Facebook with a video.
“We want answers. If they would have just talked to us figured out a solution listened to our concerns, I probably wouldn’t have posted it but,” Martin said.
TV5 reached out to the district and received a statement from the Superintendent Dorothy Blackwell.
“We continue to review the district’s COVID procedures with the Tuscola County Health Department. Currently, the TCHD states that the care room is being used appropriately and is in compliance. The care room is cleaned regularly by trained custodial staff during and after school hours in accordance with their cleaning checklist. The district believes this is the best placement for the health room as it allows an exit for sick students to leave without coming in contact with the general student population. Having the care room in this location allows us to maintain privacy for families and students regardless if they need to do drive-up testing, or if a student is being picked up as no classrooms can see this area. The care room has two functioning restrooms for student use, to once again limit exposure to the rest of the student body.”
Martin believes the school needs to come up with a better solution.
“If they’re gonna do it in school and they have to push it and do it then yes that room needs to be moved. There’s no reason why any kid should be down in a basement testing for coronavirus,” Martin said.
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