SURPRISE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Beginning Monday, parents in the Dysart Unified School District now have the option to continue sending their kid who has been exposed to COVID-19 to school. For Candace and Alexis Campbell-Zwart, two fifth-graders at El Mirage Elementary School, that's unwelcome news. "I got worried because I don't want COVID," says Candace. "And I haven't gotten it yet."
The two twins planned on finishing out the last nine days of school in person. Now, thanks to the district's decision to make quarantining kids the parent's call, the plan is for Candace and Alexis to spend the remainder of the school year at home. "I cannot trust some of the other parents to make the same decision," says Cindi Zwart. "Especially with the end of year and possibly infecting teachers and kids."
In a letter to Dysart parents and guardians, the school district said the change was made in order to ensure students don't miss valuable end-year content. But for families like Cindi's that don't think it's worth the risk, that's exactly what's going to end up happening. "Greatly disappointed," says Cindi. "Alexis was all set to go to summer school and everything and catch up on some things she didn't understand. Now with this going on, she won't be able to do that."
With kids still not vaccinated, University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix Dr. Shad Marvasti says now is not the time to ease up on COVID-19 protocols. "It just doesn't make any sense," says Marvasti. "There's no scientific basis or support for this. It's really just exposing everyone and creating a dangerous situation for children and families."
As for Cindi and her family, she wishes her voice could have been heard before the school district's decision was made and not after. "Give a heads up, get other people's input," says DUSD graduate Molly Zwart. "Instead of just having a governing board meeting and allowing so many people in," says Cindi.
"The district, they make this decision," says Molly. "And they don't get the input of the families and how it affects them as well." The Dysart Unified School District did say in their letter to parents and guardians that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is still required to isolate, per CDC guidance.