Should Schools Close Because of the Flu?

It’s been a bad flu season. School districts in other states (even other parts of Michigan) aren’t afraid to close school for a few days (usually 1-3) while the flu bug goes around. I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more locally this season. We’re in the midst of another wave of flu hitting the schools. Should schools close because of the flu? Would you be in favor of it?

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I thought it was strange when a friend of mine mentioned her kids school closed for a few days last week due to flu concerns. She lives in a suburb of Cleveland. Then I noticed several schools were closed due to the flu in schools “Up North”. The daughter of my friend had her school closed for 2 days. The school’s janitorial crew worked over-time disinfecting everything from classrooms to lockerrooms using a Clorox 360 machine. The already sick children get a chance to rest and recover… the healthy kids get to lay low like it’s a snow day and rest their immune systems.

Have you ever hoped your child’s school district would close for a day or two because you notice so many kids are out sick with the flu? I understand the importance of an education (especially for HS & Jr HS students), but it’s really early in the new semester to worry too much about lost time and we haven’t exactly been burning through the snow days around here lately either. Right now with the flu as bad as it has been in at least a decade, I’m not exited about marching my kids off to school to be near other sneezing kids (and adults) for 8 hours a day. week.

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My daughter’s English class was down to 16 kids (from 30) and my son has noticed “way less” kids on his bus. Maybe some absences were due to the Mid-Winter Break / Valentine’s Day Week / President’s Day Weekend holiday but it’s been hard to ignore the amount of people down for the count lately around Metro Detroit because of the flu. I’m glad my kids are in high school. I imagine I’d be more worried if my kids were in a germ-filled Kindergarten or preschool setting. My kids are decent students, they’ve only had 1 “snow day”, and I’m sure they could make up a couple of days missed fairly quickly.

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I’m not necessarily the biggest germaphobe in the world, but I wouldn’t mind if the local kids enjoyed a long weekend if it would help them avoid this latest flu bug. Hopefully the extra day off for President’s Day helped. What do you think? Should schools close (like a snow day) because of the flu bug?

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