Flu Hits Morris School District Hard; Staff Spends Day Cleaning

Thursday, January 22nd 2015, 6:34 pm
By: News On 6

The town of Morris in Okmulgee County was hit hard by the flu and other illnesses. So many students and staff called in sick that the school district had to close Thursday and Friday.

The staff was busy cleaning everything in the schools, paying extra attention to tables, desks and chairs. The goal is to get the school as clean as possible and hope kids get healthy by Monday.

Superintendent James Lyons felt it was the right move to cancel classes the rest of the week.

"The absences just kept increasing. We felt like we needed to get out a few days and see if that helped," Lyons said.

Out of the 1,100 students who make up the Morris Public School District about 15 percent called in sick; not to mention almost a dozen staff members, along with bus drivers.

1/21/2015 Related Story: High Number Of Flu Cases Closes Three Eastern Oklahoma School Districts

"The transportation director was really pleased we would have a few days off. He was very short handed and didn't know how he would make the routes," said Lyons.

He said there have been a number of illnesses, which have spread through the campus, including the flu, strep throat and more.

Eighth grader Elise Anderson noticed her classmates weren't feeling well, but said she enjoyed the day off from school and spent time with her mom, Regina Morgan, who backs the district's decision.

"The flu season is deadly sometimes and that's very scary, especially for the kids,” Morgan said.

While the kids were away the staff was busy cleaning. The superintendent said they used a bleach and water mixture to disinfect the entire campus.

"They would do the chair backs, the table tops, lockers, door knobs," Lyons said.

With a little rest, he's hoping kids will be back at their desks in just a few days.

The plan is for school to resume on Monday, unless there's another high absence; the superintendent said he'll have to evaluate then.