Eagles Landing Middle School Photograph Shows Crowds, Some Kids Without Masks. School District Now Reports 704 COVID Cases.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The packed hallway seen in the photo above taken at Eagles Landing Middle School is scaring parents and teachers reaching out to BocaNewsNow.com. While many of the children are seen wearing masks, the blatant disregard for social distancing is leading to fear that the school district’s horrific COVID-19 numbers, just a week into the school year, are on the cusp of a precipitous turn for the worse.
“I have a family member in an ICU,” said a parent who saw the photograph. “I can not believe this is happening. These kids are not being protected. I blame Governor DeSantis.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis remains under fire for his ban on mask mandates in schools. However, social distancing is not banned, and should be under the control of teachers and administrators at the school level. It was not immediately clear why teachers and staffers at Eagles Landing are permitting crowds to congregate. The Palm Beach County School District, to the extent that the State of Florida lets it enforce anything, has social distancing and other rules in effect.
A Palm Beach County School District representative did not immediately comment on the photo.
At least three students and one employee at Eagles Landing have officially tested positive for COVID-19. The school district’s data is often three days behind real-time — the amount of time it takes for the health department to conduct contact tracing and confirm positive results. The true number at Eagles Landing is likely higher.
The school district itself is reporting 704 cases of confirmed COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon with 608 attributed to students. More than 1000 students are quarantined at home.
The parents of one child reaching out said their child was home for several days, due to a mandatory quarantine, and started school earlier this week. The student complained about the hallway crowding. The parents said the child is already behind because teachers are not allowed to teach via live stream — as they did last year — and quarantined students must download assignments and work on their own. The ban on live, “distance learning,” was put into place by the DeSantis administration.
“These kids are taking the brunt of it,” said one of student’s parents. “They are not being protected. They are not being educated. These are our kids. They deserve better.”
An office employee at nearby Omni Middle School died on Sunday from COVID-19. She apparently attended meetings while unmasked — with parents and teachers — prior to the start of the school year. Omni is now reporting three employee cases of COVID-19. Boca Raton Community High School is now reporting 16 student cases.
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