SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (CBS46) – Parents at private schools in Sandy Springs are considering pulling their children out of school just weeks after semester starts, as cases start to surface.
Meredith Hammons, has a 4e grader who attends the Saint-Esprit preparatory school where there are more than 300 students.
She said the school dropped the mask mandate just days before classes started.
“It’s so strange because the school did such a good job last year. There were masks, there were pods, they had a lot of attenuation in place. It wasn’t until five days before school started that they told us they had turned the tide, ”Hammons said.
She said her daughter was also recently exposed to COVID-19 just days after the start of the new school year.
“My daughter was exposed to COVID-19 on the second day and had to self-quarantine and the teacher who exposed her was vaccinated. “
Hammons said last year that the school had a mask warrant and now that is no longer the case. The school told CBS46 that masks are optional and encouraged for unvaccinated staff members.
The school also told us that a doctor from the Piedmont hospital was helping them choose which protocols to implement. CBS46 was unable to confirm this alleged medical advice.
Parents said the school principal even said the parents’ masks did not work and supported him by researching articles he found on the internet.
“The principal sent an email to one of the concerned parents this week, saying the students were more likely to die from lightning and various other things,” Hammons said.
The school told us that it offers a virtual option for concerned parents.
Parents told CBS46 that the virtual option was only available to those who are quarantined or tested positive, and they still cannot get further information.
The school said large gatherings were also being held outside.
“I know for a fact that they had a rose garden in the school cafeteria with all the children in the school and that they could not have been away, with this number of students in the cafeteria,” said Hammons.
The school said 26 people have tested positive in total, which includes all of its campuses. It is not known how many are students and how many are staff.
Parents said the school has increased its transparency, but now they want to see more mitigation.
“If they’re not willing to do universal masking, can they do hybrid masking, can they mask the unvaccinated teacher?” Can they have people who have had positive COVID-19 in their home masking? Can they start to do some sort of surveillance? Hammons said.
The school told us that they understand parents’ concerns, but that they are doing their best.