Almost 80 children absent at Mayo Demonstration School, many have flu

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 18:54:21-05

TULSA -- Almost 20 percent of the students at the Mayo Demonstration School were absent Tuesday.

Tulsa Public Schools said 79 of the 420 children were absent. They do not track why they were absent, but many parents tell 2 Works For You that their children have the flu.

Nathan Mattox had to pick up his kindergarten-aged step-son from school Monday. He ended up having strep throat and the flu.

"The (school) secretary was pleading with us, "Fever free for 24 hours!" Mattox said.

Mattox is staying home with his step-son while he is sick and is carrying around a can of disinfectant spray.

"One good thing is I can spray it at him and he kind of laughs a little bit," Mattox said. "A happy heart makes good medicine."

He said the child is coughing and sick to his stomach but does not have a fever. His challenge is to make sure his other kids do not get sick too.

"I kind of threw out the suggestion today that my step-daughter wear one of those surgical masks," Mattox said. "I said she could pretend like she's an ER doctor, but no it wasn't happening."

As much as he is doing to keep the rest of his family healthy, Tulsa Public Schools is doing their part as well.

During the flu season, which lasts all but one month of the school year, TPS's custodial staff uses the hospital grade disinfectant Triad. They also provide bottles of it to the teachers.

"The desks, the door handles, the counters, the walls, everything the kids will put their hands on, the chairs, we disinfect all that," custodial staff operations manager Brenda Royal said describing what her staff cleans.

One of the other disinfectants they use, Biospray, comes in tanks and they spray the entire classroom with it.

"They do a good job," Royal said. "They try to make sure our kids are safe. They’re cleaning the surfaces and making sure the areas are safe for them so they can’t get sick. Unfortunately, that does happen, but we just try to stay on top of it as much as we can."

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