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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Got the flu? STAY HOME!

When my son mentioned the student teacher in his classroom went home ill one day last week, I thought little about it. Two days later when she returned to school, I politely inquired as to how she felt…”horrible” was her answer. With an intense focus on my to-do list for the day, I again did not stop to think about her germ invaded presence in my child’s life. Certainly she would not return to a classroom filled with six-year-olds if she were contagious with the flu. I did not think about this ill instructor-to-be until two days into a family trip (400 miles from home) when my little guy woke-up at 3am with a scorching fever and choking on the congestion pouring into his little chest. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to ring that childless woman’s neck!

Seven days later, we are home with the flu (me & the kiddo) and pneumonia (the kiddo.) Four other children in little man’s class are home too, invaded by Mrs. Jackson’s nasty germs. Why do people, especially non-mommies, do this? This is not a first year college student; this is her last semester before graduation. This time next year, she will be a teacher. She has spent the past four years interning in various schools, how is it that she never realized or no one has explained to her that when a teacher gets the flu, she should stay home?

For any child, the flu can be dangerous; but for my son, it can be deadly. Asthmatic, his respiratory system is permanently compromised; in a matter of a day, a tiny bit of congestion can turn into pneumonia. This is the second time in four months that my son has come in contact with a virus in his classroom that has turned into pneumonia for him.

Who do I blame? Who do I fuss at to make this stop? Is it the teacher’s fault for coming to school ill? She has to make an income too. Does the fault lye with the other parents who send their fever consumed children to school because they too have to earn an income? Who do I scream at for putting my son’s life in jeopardy, because their buck is obviously more important than a child’s health?

After returning home from the pediatrician yesterday, I emailed little man’s teacher in the hopes of politely persuading her to disinfect her classroom. Her response? “The flu is going around the entire school like wild fire.” Okay, so douse your room so that it too doesn’t go up in a flame of germs. Duh. No wonder one forth of her classroom has been out this week with the flu. So, you think that if I show-up at school Monday morning with a case of bleach, she’ll get the point?

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