Should I stay or should I go (to school)?

With flu season in full swing, the same question always arises amongst sick teachers and students: do I stay home from school and miss all of that work or do I struggle through the day at hand? Though many people think that the school wants them to be in attendance and keep up with the work, RB actually stresses the opposite. According to a memorandum sent out to all RB staff, student, and parents, “…students and staff alike are asked to stay home if flu-like symptoms occur and to remain home until the 24 hour resolution period has passed.”

This topic has become very relevant since the H1N1 virus or swine flu epidemic hit the nation. People need to be a lot more careful about their hygienic tendencies, and RB recommends students follow the three C’s: Clean, Cover, and Contain. These steps are meant to protect the everyday health of the individual. Students and teachers should clean their hands with soap or sanitizers, and avoid contact with sick people and cover their mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing. Lastly, the administration wants sick individuals to contain their disease by staying home and limiting contact amongst other people.

Will the students follow these procedures? Assistant Principal John Passerella is optimistic. “I’m hopeful that kids will continue to do what they are told to do, but anything can happen.”

National awareness of this issue has grown alarmingly fast, and a swine flu vaccine has already been created and has recently been distributed. Since the vaccines are limited in quantity, the first group of people to be vaccinated will be those most at risk. These people include pregnant women, infants, and people who are in constant contact with infants. In the past seven months, there have been 76 U.S children deaths because of H1N1 according to The regular flu kills between 46 and 88 children per year.

Though there have been over one million reported cases in the U.S, there has yet to be one at RB. This does not mean the school has been deprived of its share of illnesses. Recently, two students reported having MRSA, and there have been other reported cases in the past. According to, MRSA is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body.

The cafeteria staff at RB is one group that was asked to take extra precautions in maintaining adequate health care. They have been making sure that “…hand washing and personal hygiene stations are adequately stocked,” according to the memorandum. The cafeteria tables and other areas that frequently come in touch with staff and students are also being properly disinfected.

As the year goes on, RB looks like it should be safe from these viruses and these bacterium if everyone follow all the precautions that the memorandum states. If a student does not know whether or not to attend school, remember the risk of attending school, is a risk for the entire school.