- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Swine flu concerns shutter PS 209 | Bronx News Networkbronx

Monday, June 1, 2009

Swine flu concerns shutter PS 209

PS 209, an elementary school on East 183rd Street near Tiebout Avenue, has been closed for the rest of the week, after two students came down with severe flu-like symptoms.

It will likely re-open on June 8, according to a woman who picked up the phone there a few minutes ago. She didn't give her name saying she wasn't authorized to speak.

According to Mariela Arias, Assemblyman Nelson Castro's district office manager, the first student became ill last week, and on Friday, only 13 percent of students showed up for school. Arias said parents kept their kids at home becuase "they were scared it was going to spread and that their children were going to get sick."

Castro's office became involved when the school's PTA contacted them on Friday saying parents wanted the school closed - something the DOE was refusing to do. "In Queens [they've shut schools after scares], why would it be different in the Bronx?" asked Louella Hatch, a local resident whose grandson goes to the school.

Castro visited PS 209 this morning to talk to parents and teachers. Afterwards, he sent out a press release that read in part: "It is very alarming that neither the DOE nor the NYC Department of Health has communicate[d] with the parents of this school to keep them informed of what efforts are being taken to safe guard their children."

Following this afternoon's decision to close the school, Castro send out another statement. "I am gratified that the Mayor and Chancellor have responded to our inquiries and have taken this action," he said.

No word yet on whether the students, both of whom are believed to be boys, do indeed have swine flu.


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