MONROVIA, Ind. (WISH) — There are close to 500 students in quarantine, one-third of the Monroe-Gregg School District student body.
The school system doesn’t have a mask mandate, which means, according to Indiana State Board of Health rules, when unvaccinated students not wearing masks come in contact with other students who have tested positive for the coronavirus, they have to quarantine for 14 days.
The school staff have been overwhelmed with phone calls and emails from complaining parents.
“We are having more and more that become very irate and are not very pleasant with our school staff, calling them some choice words and really taking it out on them to the point it’s starting to hit their boiling point,” said Monroe-Gregg Superintendent Kirk Freeman, who says he spends 70% of his day dealing with COVID-19-related issues, mainly from upset parents.
The leader of the Morgan County district shared a couple emails from upset parents with I-Team 8. In them, parents challenged the school’s interruption of state quarantine guidelines. He says the emails are tame, but parents freely use the foulest language over the phone.
He paraphrased one of the emails: “Their child is excluded from this. I will argue with you all day long that it doesn’t if they are on a bus or not. Do you not know what you’re blankety-blank doing?”
The U.S. Department of Transportation requires students to wear a mask while on the school bus, the same guideline it has for planes and public transportation.
In-class mask mandates are left up to local school boards in Indiana.
So far, no teachers or staff have resigned over the verbal tirades, but he believes several are reaching their breaking points.
“All I’m asking is you have a little bit more empathy with our staff members. You know, they are the messenger. They are the ones calling you and to treat them the way some of ours are getting treated, we would not tolerate from the students here, and I’m thinking we should not be tolerating that from the parents,” the superintendent said.
So far the school has not had to call the police to intervene with upset parents, but Freeman has not ruled out that option.