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Father frustrated with Las Vegas school after distance learning request denied

Child had potential COVID exposure
Bonner Elementary School
Posted at 9:01 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 09:53:06-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas father is frustrated after his daughter’s school says it can’t accommodate his request to temporarily keep his daughter at home. He says he wanted to take precautions after his daughter was exposed to COVID-19.

4-year-old Kennedy Hale means the world to her father and she was excited for the first day of school. It means Andreas Hale would make sure she’s safe. When an immediate family member tested positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks before Kennedy started at Bonner Elementary School, Andreas asked the principal for help.

“Could we just get her homework to take home and she’ll be back to school, but we wanted to make sure we take care of that.”

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He wanted to take precautions and keep Kennedy at home for a week to ensure no one had the virus, especially with the Delta variant becoming prevalent. Instead, he was met with this note from a school clerk saying his daughter needed to be at school as her absence would affect the school’s “ratings and numbers." Andreas felt it was an inappropriate response.

“The first thing that went through my head is that my child is not a statistic, my child is a person. And ratings, that shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t be put over a child’s safety,” he said.

Andreas says the plan was always in-person learning for his daughter, not permanent distance learning.

“It’s the same as if our daughter had chickenpox and we asked the teacher to give us her homework for the next week until this clears up and she can go back to class,” he said.

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He posted the interaction on social media saying many parents share his frustration.

“This is simply about keeping our kids safe. Whether it’s the chickenpox, whether it’s the flu…whatever it is, all children should be handled the same,” he said.

The Clark County School District says it’s unable to comment on specific cases but has protocols in place to adjust learning plans if students are forced to quarantine. Andreas says he would like to see better communication from the school in the future.

“Hopefully moving forward, they kind of handle these things a little bit better and maybe not have a clerk respond to such sensitive material,” he said.

Andreas says the principal reached out to his family about their request, but it remains to be seen whether the school will accommodate them.

THE DAILY DEBRIEF | Reporter Jeremy Chen discusses this story with Jason Dinant

Daily Debrief with Jeremy Chen | Aug. 10, 2021