Hamblen County Schools close due to sickness

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MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WVLT) - Schools in Anderson, Claiborne, Grainger and Scott County are closed at least through tomorrow. Now, Hamblen County is added to the list of schools closing their doors due to sickness.

Hamblen County Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday in hopes it will give students and staff a chance to get better, according to Superintendent for Hamblen County Schools, Dr. Jeff Perry.

Perry said closing school for sickness isn't exactly a full proof, cure-all plan, but it does give some extra time for students and teachers to recover.

"We're making the decision that we'll be out tomorrow and Friday, and what we hope to do is we will do some of those deep cleans which does have somewhat of an impact on the spread of diseases, but it also will give our staff and give our students a little time to rest up, to take care of some of those illnesses, and then come back on Monday and be more fresh and ready to go," Perry said.

Perry said there is no set plan or guideline they go by for when deciding when to close schools, but they do look at student attendance and the amount of teachers and subs available to be in each classroom.

Perry said since they have 18 schools to take into account, while one school might see a spike in sickness, another down the road might not.

"We do get to the point to where the quality of service that we are providing is probably not at the level that we want it to be because we got so many people out and so many people coming to work not feeling well," Perry said. "If we could give some time for some folks to recover, to rest, to get some of those therapeutic treatments that they need then maybe that will help in terms of coming back on Monday."

Perry said he hopes parents are encouraging their children to wash their hands, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly in order to stay well. Flu shots are also an option that could help prevent you or your child from getting sick. While schools may be a place to contract germs, other places throughout the community have them, too.

"I could pick this up at church, I could pick this up at Walmart, I could pick this up anywhere. School is not the only place," Perry said.

Perry said the health, safety and well being of their staff and students are their top priority. The main goal is to have a healthy school system.