HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — Several teachers at Frontier High School tested positive for COVID-19, causing the school to close down for two weeks. Parents in the district tell News 4 they’re not happy about it.
“I think people do tend to not take it as seriously anymore, especially because New York state as a whole has been doing fairly well,” said parent Ahren Vogl. “That doesn’t mean we can let our guard down. We have to keep doing what we’re doing to keep our children and the staff safe.”
According to the district, four high school teachers tested positive for COVID, and a middle school teacher also tested positive.
Frontier Central School District tells News 4 the individual who tested positive at the middle school did not have any direct contact with students. School intendent Richard Hughes says it appears the teachers were exposed outside of school and that he’s disappointed more precautions weren’t made between the staff.
“In one instance I’m not surprised that the growth of our COVID numbers in our district alone and in others have been because of the adults, but I’m also surprised that decisions are not being made in the best interest of our students and our community,” he said.
Officials say the decision to go virtual until at least November 13 is due to these numbers and the additional teachers and staff that will have to quarantine.
The district will follow the current bell schedule with all classes being virtual, and students are to log in from home to complete learning and related work, Frontier officials say.
School officials added that they cannot release the name or any other personally identifiable information regarding the individuals who tested positive.
Frontier Central Teachers’ Association president Amber Chandler gave the following statement on Monday:
“More than 9 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and hundreds of thousands have died. It is disingenuous and offensive for the Superintendent to try to shame a handful of teachers to distract from the real issues like disorganized disinfecting, a two month delay on an app to monitor students health, and a lack of preparation since the beginning of the school year. The fact that he offers no human sympathy for his teachers tells the whole story. This horrible virus can kill people, and his glee at pointing out where he thinks they became infected is disconcerting.
He is doing so to try and take attention away from the fact that he had no viable contingency plan in place for a school shutdown. The chaos that is disrupting our students learning this week is solely due to his ongoing lack of leadership, not our teachers. We are, and have been all year, trying to teach our students despite his flagrant lack of leadership.
We are concerned about our teachers, students, and families. The FCTA is very disappointed, but not surprised, that the superintendent chooses to set this example for our community. We’d hope that any person who has COVID-19 would never be publicly shamed, and to see him attempt to do that is disturbing, irresponsible, and not the type of leadership we deserve. Frontier is better than this.”
The Erie County Department of Health continues to conduct contact tracing and reaching out to anyone who may have had close contact with the COVID positive individuals.
St. Francis High School, which is located on Lake Shore Rd. in Hamburg, will also be fully virtual through November 13. An announcement was made this past Friday.