Flu outbreak shuts down Bonham ISD for a week

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The hallways at Bonham schools will stay empty for the next five school days. It was a decision ultimately made by Superintendent Marvin Beaty after consultation with the state health department and the school board.

"You hate to make the call because you know it's difficult for other people," Beaty said.

The flu has taken its toll on the district's campuses. On Tuesday 14 percent of its students were gone. With a district of 1900 kids, that's 266 students who didn't show.

"We just had to stop the cycle," said Beaty.

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Superintendent Beaty said school will resume next Wednesday. Students were not the only ones absent this week. Beaty even lost teachers: one-fourth of his high school staff was gone Tuesday.

"So even if you had kids here, you didn't have teachers to teach them," he said.

Now that the difficult decision was made, Marvin is concerned with the students on free or reduced lunches, the students who do not have heat at home, and the single parents who have to work.

"It's the unintended consequences that worry me the most. The law of unintended consequences," he said

A cleaning crew will sanitize the schools later this week.

The following statement was sent via social media to parents:

Dear Bonham ISD School Community,

After much consideration and based on Texas Education Agency Attendance Guidelines and the Texas Department of Health's best practices, Bonham ISD has made the decision to cancel school from Wednesday, January 17th through Tuesday, January 23rd due to the number of students and staff members exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Staff and students will return to their regular schedules on Wednesday, January 24th.

All Bonham ISD Campuses have seen an increase in the number of confirmed cases of influenza. As the number of confirmed cases of influenza grows, it is important to increase health and safety protocols for each campus, including disinfection of all buses and spaces. Local health officials have recommended a full 7 days to stop the cycle of spreading influenza.

All HOME school-related activities for this time period, including evening activities, will be canceled or relocated. We appreciate your support and patience as we work to ensure the health and safety of all Warriors.
Bad weather days will not be used for this time off and days will not have to be made up.

Please take all health precautions and refrain from coming in contact with others.

Please be sure to monitor all Bonham ISD media outlets for all updates, including updates for extracurricular activities.