Students sent home from a Sault elementary school after social media posts show they recently visited the U.S.
SAULT STE. MARIE -- Two students – one in Grade 2, the other in Grade 5 -- have been removed from St. Mary’s French Immersion school in Sault Ste. Marie because of concerns they have been outside of the country in the last two weeks.
The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board said a parent notified the school and school board Sept. 9 about social media posts showing the children in question were in the United States the previous week.
CTV News spoke with the parent who notified the school, and they agreed to be interviewed but did not want to be identified. The parent said when they first voiced their concerns, they didn’t' think they were being taken seriously.
“I felt unheard," said the parent. "I felt invalidated and that this was not an urgent matter. I felt that they felt that I was overreacting.”
Parent was shocked
The concerned parent was shocked to learn the children were allowed to attend school the following day.
The Huron-Superior board said parents must complete a screening tool every morning for each student attending school. The first question asks parents if the student had travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
The school board said in a statement to CTV News “the school had not received this information via the students screen tool and began its investigation.”
The school board contacted Algoma Public Health and Canadian Border Service during its investigation.
“Based on the information received from these agencies, and the parents in question, the two children were retrieved from schools around lunch time on Thursday," the board said. "It is the board’s understanding that both children wore masks while they were at school, that they exhibited no symptoms of COVID-19, and that they remained in their cohorts.
Will now learn remotely
"It is also the board’s understanding that the students have chosen to learn remotely for the remainder of the fall."
The school board did not make anyone available for an interview. It is unknown if both children only attended school on Thursday for half a day or if one started school a couple of days earlier.
The parent who notified the school about the quarantine breach said they have a child in the same class as one of the students who went to the U.S. They are trying to figure out what to do next.
“As a parent I do not know what to do," they said. "Do I quarantine my child for 14 days? We should have all received emails last night about this.”
CTV News has reached out to the school board for an interview. If the school board responses to our request, we will update the story.