A Newton County middle school student was sent home from Cousins Middle School Thursday morning after refusing to remove a surgical mask that he was wearing in an effort to protect himself against swine flu.
According to the boy’s mother, Angela Crummley, her elementary aged sons were not asked to remove their masks or to leave school, but at Cousins her 13-year-old son was reportedly given a choice: either remove the mask or leave school. He chose to not remove his mask and was sent home.
“My children have a right to protect themselves,” said Crummley at her home Friday morning. “They aren’t scared, they just want to take precautions and they have that right.”
According to Sherri Viniard, Director of Public Relations for the Newton County School System, "There have been no cases of Swine Flu reported in Newton County and only one in the state thus far. The student at Cousins was asked to remove his mask because it was creating a disturbance on campus. Students and faculty became worried that the student was infected with the virus. He was asked to remove it but did not. He called his mother and she came and picked him up before administrators could talk to her. A student a Ficquett wore a mask to school but it did not create a disturbance there. We understand the concerns parents may have and if they would like to send their child to school with a mask, they may do so although we have been informed that wearing a mask is not necessary. We have posted prevention tips on our website and a letter will go home with student today. We also participated in a conference call with East Metro Health today and are keeping in constant contact with them for updates and new information."
Check Sunday’s issue of The Covington News for full story.