Parents grow frustrated over school districts quarantine process

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- As more students return to the classroom this month some parents here in Michiana are concerned their kids may fall behind quarantining process.

School districts are requiring anyone who comes in contact with a student who’s positive with COVID-19 to quarantine for 2 full weeks before returning to in-person learning.

“It feels like a punishment to them because they’re being sent home and they don’t know why. They’re not sick, but we’re telling them you have to come because you were around somebody that was sick," said Alexis Smith, a mother of a student in the Penn Harris Madison school district.

Smith’s daughter has already had several COVID positive cases in her grade. While she hasn’t been required to quarantine just yet it’s something many Michiana parents are fearing for their kids this school year.

“One kid will be sick and it’ll take a couple days before you know anybody around them with the contract tracing is even notified that they’ve come in close contact with them and then from there they call the kid down to the office. They call the parents and they put them in a quarantine room until their parents can get there," said Joshua Tavernier, a parent of two Mishawaka students.

School districts have continued to battle over back-to-school safety measures especially when it comes to mask wearing indoors, but students are still facing the possibility of being exposed everyday.

For smith she says despite those concerns, if a student isn’t testing positive they should still be allowed in the classroom because online classes aren’t a feasible option for every parent.

“E-learning doesn’t always help. Sometimes you know if I have to work it’s hard to get someone to watch her while I’m at work. And, most of the time kids don’t want to do it at home. They like to learn in the classroom," said Smith.

Parents finding care for their kids during the quarantine process isn’t the only frustration - some fear they’ll fall even further behind since they don’t get the in-person interaction many kids desperately need to succeed.

“There are some parents that don’t have the ability to teach their kids like a teacher would and then how do they get help if they need the help. You can’t just keep quarantining kids. You just can’t do it," said Tavernier.

Both Mishawaka and PHM schools are currently following quarantine protocols from the St. Joe County Health Department—and both are requiring masks in schools right now.

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