Marysville school district responds to parents concerns

A day after a letter was made public from an attorney who claimed she was a spokesperson for students removed from the school due to the illness, the Marysville School District distributed a statement regarding the recent outbreak of chickenpox within the district. Superintendent Shawn Wightman said despite the efforts of some to affect the number of students in attendance Wednesday, the district was reporting 98% attendance.

Also, in response to the procedure used for moving students, Wightman said “They were brought to the school’s office” adding a paragraph in the letter by Stacy DeShon, ” is completely inaccurate; especially the public statement comment.” The Superintendent pointed out “Facts: Current Enrollment = 896 students @ MHS. (14) students still not vaccinated or have offered no documentation that they are immune (1.56% of the population); hence, 98.44% of the student body @ MHS have been vaccinated or are immune through appropriate documentation.  Two students have been diagnosed with the virus or 0.002% of the population (less than 1% of the population).”

The district’s letter reads as follows”

Dear Community Members,
This communication is in response to a number of misleading and grossly exaggerated statements that have been made by a local community member involving an unfortunate chickenpox outbreak at Marysville High School.

In summary, on Thursday, September 26, 2019, the St. Clair County Health Department identified an outbreak of the varicella-zoster virus (chickenpox) at Marysville High School. Based on current records, 37 students were identified as being susceptible to this highly contagious disease. Consequently, in accordance with Michigan Public Health Code (MCL 333.1101/Rule 175), all exposed susceptible students were discreetly brought down to the school’s office and respectfully informed of the situation.

A letter, drafted by the St. Clair County Health Department, was also provided. Parents or legal guardians of these students were called by school staff, informed of the circumstances, and advised to make arrangements to have their child(ren) picked up from the
building as soon as possible.

All of the above was done at the direction of the St. Clair County Health Department and for the safety of all our
students, staff and visitors to Marysville High School. It was also done in a professional, respectful and caring

Moving forward, we are hopeful that all students will be back in school on or before Tuesday, October 7, 2019. However, this date of return is subject to revision, based upon the emergence of any new cases.

Even so, students will be re-admitted to Marysville High School immediately upon getting vaccinated or by providing the St. Clair County Health Department with acceptable documentation of immunity.

Furthermore, if the vaccine dose administered was the first varicella-zoster virus vaccine dose, the student will be conditionally re-admitted immediately, but the second vaccine dose must be scheduled using the age-appropriate minimal interval (i.e., 3 months for persons 1-12 years of age, 28 days for persons 13 years and older). If the varicella-zoster virus dose administered was the second dose, the student will be re-admitted immediately after vaccinationdocumentation is provided.

As already indicated, our highest priority during a serious incident, crisis or outbreak in the district is the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and visitors. Consequently, I would like to reassure everyone that we will continue to make every effort to keep our schools safe. Communication, education, and training are all a part of this process.

Dr. Shawn K. Wightman
Marysville Public Schools