Butler County Schools Closed Due To Illness

By Brett Baldeck | 

Buses in Butler County sit idle as more than 13% of the student body is sick with the flu and other illnesses.

Superintendent Scott Howard noticed a problem last week, but it wasn't district wide.

"We have two schools whose attendance dropped down in the upper 80 percentile, but we have two other schools that were still doing pretty good," says Howard.

But as classes resumed after the weekend things began to take a turn for the worse.

"We had approximately 60 kids out at one elementary and then we started out with about 50 students absent at our high school. Then we had 25 additional students to go home throughout the day," says Howard.

With just more than 2,000 students across the district, Howard says any kind of sickness can spread quickly. Local doctors have been seeing the problem first hand. They say recent changes in weather are a perfect storm for the flu.

"I don't think it's really started earlier. The time varies every year. It seems like it hits a different times every year. I just think the weather has been real appropriate for the flu. Warm, cold and drastic changes in temperature," says Donna Embry.

For those kids healthy at home, thinking they are getting a free week off, the district is already planning alternatives.

"We do have some make up days later on in the calendar we could use and we will take that before our board of education," says Howard.

For now, Howard says each school will be deep cleaned the rest of the week.

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