Flu outbreak closes Hardin-Central schools - KCTV5

Flu outbreak closes Hardin-Central schools

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HARDIN, MO (KCTV) -

Flu season is in full swing, and it has swung hard on a northeast Missouri school.

Students in Hardin have no class until next Tuesday.

School staff went on the defensive Wednesday, with the teachers, armed with Clorox wipes, hitting the desks and chairs.

The idea was to put everyone in their own corner, away from each other and keep the "ick" from spreading.

In a town the size of Hardin, 50 children out sick is a sizable blow to the student population, which numbers just 250, kindergarten through grade 12.

"My husband subbed down here on Monday, and he said the third grade class has 22 students in it and only 12 were there Monday," Teresa Twyman said.

Once the numbers persisted for three days running, it was an easy call for the superintendent.

Hardin-Central C-2 Superintendent Martin Griffin said the decision to close was to stop spreading germs, keep the 20 percent from falling too far behind in class work and preserve state funding.

Attendance rates figure into funding, and illness related absenteeism is no exception.

Griffin said it got to where even the substitute teachers filling in for sick were getting sick, some respiratory, like the flu, others intestinal.

Griffin said it's the first year that the cold season has packed a punch strong enough for an entire school to throw in the towel.

"I think it is a good idea. That way the kids that are sick have time to recuperate and not lose any school time. And the kids that are not sick, maybe they won't get it," Twyman said.

It helps that this comes just ahead of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, so the sick will get a five-day break for the price of two.

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