Milford parents speak about keeping student from school over Ebola concerns


MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Meadowside Elementary School parents are divided about a recent decision by the Milford School District to not allow a little girl to come to school over Ebola concerns.

“The parents want their daughter to know that they fought for her,” said family attorney, Gary Phelan.” That they did not just roll over when this happened. They’re hoping by going public with this it’s going to deter others, other school districts other municipalities of taking extremes of this nature.”

The lawsuit filed Tuesday said when the family returned from a wedding in Nigeria a couple of weeks ago, the school told the family their seven-year-old third-grader could not attend school for the recommended incubation period for Ebola. That is 21 days.

Nigeria is a country that hasn’t seen an Ebola case in nearly two months and is hundreds of miles from the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak. The little girl is not sick, not in quarantine, and is getting a Milford Schools tutor sent to her home.

ORIGINAL STORY: Attorney for family suing Milford schools speaks out

Many parents disagreed with the district’s decision.

“She’s not quarantined is she? No,” said Lynn Harrison, a grand parent. “Ignorance breeds fear.”

Keyvan Behpour’s daughter is in the same grade as the child and said he would have no problem with the little girl back at school.

“Where do you draw the line?” said Behpour. “At some point it’s got to stop, the hysterical response has to stop.”

Other parents thought the district made the right decision.

“It’s got to be a safety first thing, and then I heard it was my daughter’s school, it’s even more so,” said Meadowside Parent Greta Pelle.

The Milford Health Department declined an interview Wednesday. The city attorney did not return calls.

Superintendent of Milford Schools Dr. Elizabeth Feser issued a statement.

“On October 28, 2014, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut against the Milford Public Schools and City of Milford, claiming that the manner in which we responded to concerns about the return of a student who traveled to West Africa was improper. We deny this allegation,” said Feser in the statement. “In addressing this situation, at all times, my staff and I proceeded in good faith to respond to this public health issue. We acted in the best interest of all of our students and staff.”

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