Greenback School closed for rest of week due to illness

Greenback (WVLT) - With a high rate of absenteeism because of sickness, Loudon County school officials are closing Greenback School for the rest of the week.

The school has been a source for several problems in recent years. School officials say it's unrelated, but some parents aren't completely convinced.

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has the latest.

"We're up to 26 percent now of the student body that's home, ill," assistant superintendent Gil Luttrell said.

So Loudon county school officials have decided to close Greenback school for the rest of the week. Assistant superintendent Gil Luttrell says it's not just students calling in with strep throat, sinus infection, and intestinal problems.

"We were unable to find subs for some who wanted to be out but couldn't find subs so several teachers are working ill," Luttrell said.

"The grandson came home sick today and the granddaughter missed three days," Greenback Mayor Tom Peeler said.

Even the mayor's grandchildren are not immune. His daughter feels calling off school should have happened earlier.

"They had over a hundred kids out yesterday and then sent 25 plus home from school plus the teachers that are out," parent Robin Blankenship said.

The school has had problems in recent years. Recent propane leaks have caused the school to be evacuated. Despite previous problems, school officials say this outage has no connection.

"Closing school for tomorrow and Friday are strictly related to these contagious illnesses that we're seeing in our clinic," Luttrell said.

The mayor doesn't deny that but has questions.

"Is it we got a sick problem in Greenback and we don't have it in Loudon county or Blount county? I don't know of any other schools that's shut down for the next two days because of a sickness problem in school," Peeler said.

But some feel past problems, like ventilation at the school, play a role.

"You know all the problems that's been going on at Greenback and it doesn't give the rooms a chance to get the germs out," Blankenship said.

Assistant superintendent Gil Luttrell says the Rec league will cancel basketball games this weekend but the school's basketball games will go on as scheduled.
He says they anticipate school will reopen on Monday.

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