Rural School Districts Cancel Classes After Attendance Dips Because Of Flu

Thursday, January 20th 2011, 4:18 pm
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- While several metro schools were closed Thursday for winter weather, at least one rural school district will be closed Friday because of the flu virus.

Officials with the Thomas-Fay-Custer School District said they have canceled classes Friday after more than 100 of the 450 students were out on Thursday largely due to the flu.

Students in Dewar and Stroud have also been hit especially hard. Both districts said they had planned to close Thursday, before the snow, to give their students time to get better. The health department said it's not uncommon for the flu to spread quickly in schools.

"Just the typical behavior of children, they have the tendency to frequent touch their eyes, their nose, or their mouth and often times that's how you're going to spread a virus such as flu," said Melanie Christian, Tulsa City-County Department of Health.

Dewar Schools do not have class on Fridays. Stroud, however, will be open.

Lindsay Public Schools Superintendent Richard Brownen said student attendance in his district is down because of the flu virus as well, but because of icy conditions Thursday he is not exactly sure by how much. Brownen said he doesn't anticipate canceling classes because of the flu and thinks he will have a better idea of how many students are still out with the flu on Monday.