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West Seneca parents say they are concerned about how the district is handling a COVID outbreak

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Posted at 10:48 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 10:12:51-04

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Parents in the West Seneca School District said they are concerned about the way the district is handling an increase in COVID-19 cases.

According to the Erie County Department of Health, the amount of COVID cases in schools is rising. The Health Department said COVID cases in people under the age of 18 are up 42% over the last month. Cases among 5 to 10-year-olds have increased 76% in the past week.

Darnysha Jackson said her daughter was exposed to COVID, but the district didn't tell her.

"They sent a lot of children home. The whole 7th grade football team. She's the only girl on the football team. They sent certain kids home that they believe was in contact with the students. My daughter wasn't sent home, but the next day when I took her to get her shot, that's when she felt ill and started losing her taste buds. I got her tested and it came back positive," Jackson said.

Jackson said football practices have been canceled this week and the game has been postponed.

Kristen Boller said her daughter, who is in 8th grade, was exposed to COVID at school Monday. Boller said she is now missing almost all of her classes to quarantine.

"I am emailing. I have messaged the front desk, the main office at the school. I have called the main office multiple times. I have put in emails and a phone call to the principal. I can not get a response from anybody. I came to the school board today with a nice clean, written letter trying to say okay what do I do as a parent? Why are we doing this? Why are we experiencing this? I got told, no you didn't register. You're not allowed in the building," Boller said.

Boller went to the district's public school board meeting Tuesday night, but was not allowed in. A worker for the school district said only seven people were allowed inside due to COVID. Those who attended had to register in advance.

The district called the police to have those who were not registered for the public meeting leave.

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"At this point, I feel like we are slacking on our children," Boller said.

7 Eyewitness News was not allowed into the meeting either. One member told 7 Eyewitness News she is not prepared to comment on the COVID cases right now.

Meanwhile, the state's school COVID report card site is down. A representative for the State Department of Health said it is being updated and will be back up by Monday.

Both Boller and Jackson said they are not currently comfortable sending their children back to the classroom.

"I'm scared to send her back. I'm afraid that if she ends up in contact again, this is going to happen all over again," Boller said.