A small private school in Baton Rouge has decided to take the rest of the week off thanks to a sudden outbreak of the flu that hit the school hard on Monday.
The Brighton School, which has about 150 students and is known for working with dyslexic children, is not reopening until Monday.
Kenneth Henderson, Brighton’s executive director, said the outbreak began over the weekend among members of the volleyball team and was spreading fast.
Every coach has had a moment like the one Briget Melancon of the Brighton School had before a recent volleyball tournament match.
By the end of the day Monday, more than a third of the 54 students in the high school had the flu or flu-like symptoms, and a few elementary schoolers were getting sick too.
“Throughout the day we had more and more kids showing up feeling bad, throwing up, going home,” Henderson said. “It just got to be a number that we couldn’t overlook.”
Henderson said that he decided that to “break the cycle” of the flu they need to close school for awhile, something he said he’s had to do before at previous schools he’s worked at.
But this closure hit much earlier in the flu season than those in the past and is taking longer to manage. In deciding how long to stay closed, the school looked at information put out by the federal Centers for Disease Control that suggested the school would need to stay closed five to seven days to accomplish what it was trying to do.
So Brighton made the call to close, posting a notice on the school’s Facebook page.
Henderson said he hopes students will take the time to stay home, recuperate and not endanger others. In the meantime, the school located at 12108 Parkmeadow Avenue is nearly empty.
“I’m here and a couple of other people are here, but it’s quiet,” he said.