Stories related to the COVID 19, or novel CoronaVirus, outbreak continue to dominate the news cycle and mass media outlets.
The Maynard Public Schools continue to monitor this situation closely and is in contact with our local board of health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and United States Department of Education.
The District continues to follow all local, state and federal recommendations and guidance related to COVID 19 including proper monitoring of students and staff members as well recommendations related to cleaning and sanitization of our facilities.
The District is aware of a very recent development where a small number of community members have taken to social media to make claims that a student in the Maynard Public Schools poses a risk of COVID 19 transmission. These recently circulating statements are based on suppositions and assumptions that are not supported by fact.
The Federal Educational Records Protection Act (FERPA) prohibits the district from commenting on any individual student publicly and we will not violate the law.
Guidance from the United States Department of Education released within the past two days also indicates that the targeting of a student with rumors related to COVID 19 transmission constitutes the legal definition of harassment. Such targeting of students is morally unacceptable, ethically unacceptable and legally unacceptable.
Rather than rely on social media, we ask that all community members consider relevant information and the relevant facts. “Through our own conduct, as well as through the language that we use to discuss this sensitive topic, we must demonstrate that health and tolerance are compatible values; they are both central elements of the educational excellence that our students deserve.” (US Dept of Education, March 4, 2020)
The safety of the students, students’ families and staff is the top priority of the Maynard Public Schools and that remains the case in all things related to COVID 19.
Mary Jane Rickson
Interim Superintendent of Schools