After 42 teens were exposed to COVID-19, one mom says her daughter’s peers are not in quarantine

Education

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the opinions of other parents whose students are quarantined. They have also been granted anonymity due to fears of backlash from fellow parents and the school district.

LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — Forty two students at a high school in Leander Independent School District have been asked to quarantine after potentially being exposed to COVID-19.

A mother of one of those students says her daughter’s cheerleading teammates aren’t following quarantine restrictions and are potentially exposing others in the community.

She asked to be kept anonymous. She’s afraid the entire cheerleading team will turn against her daughter, but she says their family is the only one taking the two-week quarantine seriously and is only aware of one other family, besides themselves, who have taken the steps to get tested.

“As a team, they are supposed to represent the community,” the mother said. “The quarantining is serious. They were all just put at risk, and the risk is serious. But to them, it doesn’t even matter.”

The mom said the girls have been seen on social media congregating with one another. One girl posted she had gone to work the next day, the mom said.

A different parent to a quaratined cheerleader reached out to KXAN on Friday morning. She said many of the students don’t need to be in quarantine at all. She said the positive case came from the junior varsity cheerleading squad, and so the varsity team had very little chance of catching the virus.

She felt that asking all 42 students to quarantine was strict and unnecessary: She believes the district and local health officials made a rash decision.

“I have been engaged with LISD and the Williamson County Health Officials disputing the contact tracing procedure that was set up and the limited amount of information that was offered,” the parent, who has also asked to remain anonymous, said.

KXAN has reached out to other cheerleaders, the Rouse High School cheerleading coaches, each member of the Rouse High School Booster Club Executive Board and the President of the Rouse High School PTSA for additional comment. No one else has agreed to share their perspectives on-the-record.

Guidelines distributed by the high school and provided to all families who were asked to quarantine have clear instructions: stay home for 14 days, keep away from others and monitor their health.

“Leander ISD is thankful for our community’s continued cooperation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The health of our students, teachers and staff is everyone’s responsibility. Following our district-established safety protocols is critical in allowing us to keep our schools open for in-person learning. These measures are in place after months of planning and collaboration with local health agencies, and we are confident that by adhering to them, we can slow the spread of the virus and protect our community.”

Leander Independent School District

The district is asking students to cooperate, saying it planned out these quarantine protocols for months. By following them, district officials say students can slow the spread of the virus.

The district also says students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to provide a doctor’s release before returning to school.

Reach KXAN’s Education Reporter Alex Caprariello by email at alexc@kxan.com or by phone at 512-703-5365, or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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