Late Tuesday afternoon, school custodians suited up and started sanitizing Range Elementary School in Mesquite. 6th grader Jessica Abbott says, "I was shocked when I found out all these students went home, and it was pretty bad."
The district today ordered Range closed for the rest of school year following an increasing number of illnesses among students and staff. Mesquite Independent School District Spokesperson Laura Jobe, says, "Really we just thought the best thing we could do at this point to stop the spread was to close school a little early."
The Dallas County Department of Health & Human Services says there are 5 confirmed flu cases and all have characteristics of swine flu, but haven't been lab confirmed.
America Adams' mom says better save that sorry. Maegan Adams says, "I think it's a good decision...if it's that many kids that are sick, I think it's okay."
The district says there were about 50 student absences Friday, mostly 5th graders. It jumped to 114 Monday and 160 today, including staff. Parent Jamie Platt agrees with the school closure, but says her 6th grade daughter is devastated at missing out on her graduation ceremony. Jamie Platt says, "She's crying. She's very upset. Very upset."
The district understands the emotion and says it was a tough decision to make but safety has to move to the head of the class and they hope parents will take over from here. District Spokesperson, Laura Jobe, says, "The best thing they can do is keep their students at home for the next couple of days because what we're really trying to do is limit the spread of the illness and if they're around a lot of other students, they may be spreading it further."