Bob Jones High football parents want more coronavirus information from school, district

The high school's football team has at least a dozen cases and parents say they have not been getting information from the school and district, but rather a Facebook group.

Posted: Sep 25, 2020 8:43 PM
Updated: Sep 25, 2020 11:59 PM

Madison City Schools announced Friday that 20 Bob Jones high school students and two employees have tested positive for coronavirus, and 44 additional students and employees are in quarantine.

Last week, the district reported nine Bob Jones football players tested positive, sending more than 100 people into quarantine.

A parent of a football player said she thinks the district’s lack of communication could have put her kids at risk and said now parents have taken matters into their own hands.

“I would think that children’s lives come before football and I'm just not seeing that,” Tiffany Smith said.

Smith is the mother of a football player who is among those that have recently tested positive for coronavirus. She said she first heard about the team's positive cases through an app the coach uses to communicate with parents, but soon noticed that those messages were being deleted after they were posted -- the coach told her it was because they violated HIPAA laws.

“Had I not saw that before he deleted it, we would have never tested,” Smith said Friday.

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Frustrated with the difficulty they faced getting information about the team’s cases, Smith and other parents put together a private Facebook group to discuss matters themselves.

“We have to share our own information, we have to figure it out ourself,” she said. “I feel like we’re leading the blind and this isn’t how it should be ran.”

Smith has two children with rare genetic mutations at home and said she’s upset the school has not provided more information about these cases and claims they’ve made no effort to contact trace.

Smith claims she reached out to the school to try to get an update on the numbers but was told
“the numbers don’t matter.”

In a statement to WAAY 31, the district said: “Our school nurses, school staffs and teachers are following protocols on monitoring and documenting reported symptoms, COVID positive tests, and close contacts among employees and students. Communications from the schools are sent to the proper school communities on a timely basis. The district is reporting a school-by-school roundup each week of new positive cases and the number of quarantined employees/students.”

The district announced Wednesday that Bob Jones students will not return to campus until at least Oct. 12 due to the number of quarantined staff members.

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