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Teachers, parents raise concerns over LPSS reopening plan

LPSS
Posted at 9:04 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 22:04:33-04

At Wednesday's Lafayette Parish School Board meeting, several parents and teachers raised concerns over some details of the district's current reopening plan.

Of concern to many was the cleaning product that the district has chosen for disinfecting classrooms, Halt.

One teacher, Michelle Broussard, explained during the public comment portion of the meeting that while in her classroom setting up for the new year she was exposed to the cleaner and experienced an allergic reaction to it.

Broussard and several other speakers expressed concerns over Halt, saying it was a possible corrosive and irritant, that it contained little or no alcohol, that it's considered a pesticide, among other issues.

One speaker mentioned a guideline set forth by the state that says school boards can't impose lesser standards than the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has imposed, and that the board's policy did not specify that cleaners must contain 60% alchohol.

Katie Courville, a parent and teacher, said that the product states it should be kept out of reach of children and can be harmful.

LPSS Director of Planning and Facilities Kyle Bordelon explained after public comment that the district looked at various options for cleaning products and decided upon Halt because it is readily available and economical. He added that there are two types of Halt - one is a concentrated form and other is user prepared - and the district will be using the user prepared product. It is mixed with water and safe for use among children.

He said that any cleaning product that kills bacteria is considered a pesticide and any product that gets in the eyes can cause irritation and discomfort.

"For the number of schools," Bordelon said, "we felt it was the best product."

Other concerns included temperature checks and how they would be enforced, social distancing in classrooms, and the policy's language regarding face masks.

The board approved a new emergency policy that gives the superintendent authority to make changes to the system's plans when needed for safety. Read the full policy here.

Lafayette Parish starts school next month using a hybrid learning model.

You can watch the full board meeting below:

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