Local Officials Disagree on School Closures

POSTED: Monday, May 4, 2009 - 8:48am

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:32pm

In Brownsville, city, county and school leaders spent the morning disagreeing over what precautions to take due to the H1N1 virus.

The mayor wanted schools closed but county and school district officials called it off. Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada now says he will work with county, school district and health officials to come up with the best decision for citizens, but that's now what he said early Friday morning.

B.I.S.D. officials said they would remain open until health officials advised them otherwise, but did decide on Saturday to have all schools closed until May 11th to have the classrooms cleaned.

Ahumad felt the district should be more proactive in such situations. Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos says he has been in constant communication with local and state health officials and school districts. B.I.S.D. is reporting no significant attendance decreased and of the approximate 48,000 students in the entire district, only about 400 students stayed home.

The district says officials spoke with county health officials on Friday morning and were told there were no suspected or confirmed cases of the virus within the district. The Mayor didn't agree with the Interim Superintendent's decision. School officials say they sent letters to parents notifying them about the H1N1 virus and have asked the children to bring their own hand sanitizers.

District officials will continue to monitor the situation and will stay in contact with local and state health officials for the latest information. The Mayor does not have the authority to order any school closures and it's up to the school district, Texas Education Agency and County Health authorities to make such a decision.

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