School Cuts Swine Flu Fear With Half-Days

Students at Joseph A. Foran High School spread the word late Tuesday through text messages and on Facebook.

"Some people on Facebook had statuses that they were sick and some people commented, 'Did you go home?' and they were like, 'yeah," said Kateri Ciccaglione, a junior at Foran.

The Milford high school is going to a half-day schedule because at least 20 students have shown flu-like symptoms over the past two days.

"I know a lot of people went home sick today, more so than usual probably," said Kate Hatkoff, a Foran junior.

The new half-day schedule means students will go to school from 7:30 a.m. to noon, and no lunch will be served in the building.

"Those areas that are high contact, like lunchtime, those areas are going to be eliminated and the classroom time is going to be cut down, so with those measures we are decreasing the risk for those who are otherwise unaffected," said Dr. Dennis McBride, the Milford Health Director.

While none of the sick students have tested positive for swine flu, fears of a swine flu outbreak are overruling any excitement about the shorter school day.

"I feel like more people are upset about it than excited," said Kate Hatkoff. "I mean it's not a bad thing to have half-days, but it's kind of scary at the same time."

"When we first started hearing about swine flu, everyone was freaking out. And then when it went away, everyone just calmed down, and now that people are getting sick again, it's kind of scary." said Kateri Ciccaglione.

Class will be in session for half-days until further notice, while health and school officials continue to monitor the situation.

Dr. McBride says he is not ruling out the possibility of closing the school, if more students get sick.

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