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Whistleblower: Barnesville parents concerned about school district’s lack of COVID-19 mitigation

Several parents contacted the VNL Whistleblower Hotline asking us look into the COVID-19 policies within Barnesville schools.
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:43 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - School starts on Sept. 7 for students in Barnesville and some parents are concerned with the district’s lack of covid-19 mitigation strategies.

Several parents contacted the VNL Whistleblower Hotline asking us look into the COVID-19 policies within Barnesville schools.

One parent said they called the school district several times asking why they aren’t following CDC guidelines and was told it’s not his problem. Another parent said the Barnesville Superintendent doesn’t think the kids health is his issue....and several others indicated the same feeling.

We reached out to the Superintendent but he has not returned any calls.

One Barnesville mom said the district’s policies last year worked, and she wants to know why the school isn’t being proactive.

“I just feel like there is no precautions being done right now.” said Kristi Morgan.

Morgan said she believes the Barnesville school district’s lack of COVID-19 mitigation strategies could cause an outbreak, sending the students home to do virtual learning.

“If the numbers get too high and there are too many outbreaks...they’ll be forced to go back to that again,” said Morgan, “The students really don’t like missing school.”

The district is not requiring mask wearing instead saying “The district supports any student or employee who choose to wear a face covering.”

In addition, the district’s website states students, parents and employees will be notified if they come into close contact with a positive COVID-19 case. Close contacts are are asked to monitor their symptoms.

“It would be a smarter approach to be proactive than reactive.”

Morgan wants to know why the district isn’t at least encouraging students and staff to wear a mask or get a COVID-19 vaccination.

“Written statements encouraging all staff and students who are eligible to get the vaccine.” said Morgan.

We asked Morgan why she thinks the school district isn’t using the mitigation strategies from last year and she said he thinks it comes down pressure from parents

“Peer pressure is their main thing...and I think safety should be number 1.” said Morgan.

On its website, the Barnesville school district states the current policies are subject to change pending new state and or federal mandates.

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