In-School Quarantine Policy Draws Concern From Children’s Advocacy Group


Monday, November 30th 2020, 6:29 pm
By: Tevis Hillis


This week, schools are allowed to have students and their teachers go into a different school building area after being exposed to COVID-19. But the policy is drawing major concerns from an advocacy group that says it fights for Oklahoma kids.

"With the issues we see with COVID-19, we know children are not impacted as dramatically as other age groups. But the children act as carriers," said CEO for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Joe Dorman.

He said while kids may not get that sick from COVID-19, their parents might not be as lucky.

"As these pediatric cases grow, we know they will be passed on to other individuals," said Dorman. "Oklahoma is 9th in the nation for grandparents raising grandchildren. We have many teachers who are older or in a high-risk category. This may increase the likelihood they would pass it on to adults."

State Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye is aware of the concerns.

In a statement, he said, "we have recognized that some students subject to a 14-day quarantine may have lost many essential benefits schools provide, such as a safe environment with adult supervision, nutritional support, internet and technology resources and easier access to instructor assistance."

Mustang Public Schools has been the first district to adopt the policy. The Oklahoma State Department of Health said the data collected until winter break will help them as they plan for the next semester.

"We want to see kids back in the classroom, but we need to make sure that we are using every precaution possible," said Dorman. 

The child advocacy group also said they are concerned about masking school policies and indoor sports.