whispering pines

COVID COVERUP? Elementary In West Boca Raton Accused Of Underreporting Cases

Boca Raton Coronavirus COVID-19 Florida News Palm Beach County Palm Beach County Schools Schools
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Teacher Tested Positive On September 24th. Parents Outraged That It’s Not On The Dashboard.

whispering pines
Whispering Pines Elementary School in West Boca Raton. Nearly a year after the school was accused of covering up a child COVID case, the same school is now accused of covering up a teacher case. (Photo: BocaNewsNow.com).

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Several parents and employees connected to Whispering Pines Elementary School in West Boca Raton claimed in calls and emails today to BocaNewsNow.com that administrators at the school are blatantly not reporting cases involving teachers.

The claims were made after a teacher at Whispering Pines, who tested positive for COVID-19 on September 24th, took it upon herself to alert parents about her positive test when school administrators apparently refused to do so.

Almost one year ago to the day — on October 12, 2020 — we reported that the same school attempted to hide a student COVID case. The story was confirmed at the time by district officials.

We are not identifying the teacher or the administrators involved in this latest controversy, but senior sources in the school district confirmed to BocaNewsNow.com that the identities reported to us are correct.

Where the claims diverge, however, is just what school officials knew, and what they did with the information. Parents and staffers say the teacher told school administrators on September 24th about her positive test. But they did nothing. There was no robocall to parents. There was no contact tracing in the teacher’s classroom. That apparently led the teacher to call parents herself to let them know that their children may have been exposed.

Whispering Pines administrators, based on tips and public data reviewed by BocaNewsNow.com, still did nothing on September 25th. Or September 26th. Or September 27th. Or September 28th. Or today, September 29th, until we investigated the claims with the the school district.

Palm Beach County School District Communications Director Claudia Shea told BocaNewsNow.com that the case will be added to the “dashboard” tonight.

”It will be noted in the column for September 24th, 2021,” said Shea. “That’s when the principal reported the case. There was an issue with the entry of this case into the dashboard app, which accounts for the delay on the dashboard.”

But parents and others at Whispering Pines say the school district is falling on its sword. Even if the principal reported the case on the 24th, there’s no indication she followed up to find out why it hadn’t been added to the school district’s dashboard five days later. They also point to the lack of robocall — the method used by every school in the Palm Beach County School District to report positive cases to parents.

Cases are routinely reported to parents in specific classrooms or schools while the Florida Department of Health investigates.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Palm Beach County School District COVID-19 dashboard reported 25 student cases at Whispering Pines with no employee cases. While not the only school reporting no employee cases, it certainly makes the school an outlier. The Palm Beach County School District currently reports 5,045 student cases and 809 employee COVID-19 cases.

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