Vernon schools wipe down the flu

© Around 18-percent of Vernon ISD students and staff called out sick from the flu causing school closures.
© Around 18-percent of Vernon ISD students and staff called out sick from the flu causing school closures.
© All Vernon ISD schools are closed after a flu outbreak.
© All Vernon ISD schools are closed after a flu outbreak.

VERNON,TX(RNN Texoma) - Cleaning crews sanitized everything in the Vernon ISD after a flu outbreak closed the entire district down on Wednesday.

Many parents took care of their children at home or at work like the school district's superintendent Jeff Byrd.

"I'm a dad first and a superintendent second," Byrd said.

He said more than 18-percent of students and school staff got the flu and called out sick on Tuesday. That closed down all six schools in the district.

"We didn't take this decision lightly," Byrd said. "I don't know if we waited until the last minute but we waited to the point where we knew [it was the right decision]."

Some parents agreed with the action.

"If they're as sick as they say they are, they need to close," Jamie Forsythe a mother of a Vernon Middle School student said.

She admits to being surprised to hear of the closure.

"I thought it was just the teachers taking days off or something then he said everyone was sick so I'm just glad they even let him out."

Frita Torres, a mother of a Vernon High School student, said she was first upset her son's school closed but changed her mind when she found out why.

"I prefer them to sanitize the school and keep my kids healthy than to be in the hospital for my two kids and them not be able to go to school," Torres said.

GermBlast, a high-level environmental disinfection company from Lubbock, is wiping the schools clean.

The cleaning company's employees said they have been very busy and never seen anything like this.

"Flu has been pretty bad this year," Chance Brown said. "All over, hospitals are pretty full, several school districts have closed down do to it."

Byrd said he has begun researching the newest cleaning equipment to find out what will knockout germs so he will not have to knockoff classes again for around 2,100 students.

Schools are scheduled to reopen Friday. Byrd says if there is still bacteria left, they will stay closed for more cleaning over the weekend.

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