Teachers ask to close P.S. 255 over flu fears

Teachers and students at P.S. 255 in Homecrest are demanding the temporary closure of their school after more than 100 students fell ill, many with flu-like symptoms.

Although there are no confirmed swine flu cases at the school, teachers want to know why the city is reluctant to provide them with answers as to what is making their students ill.

A member of the parents' association says as of Tuesday, 120 students were out sick. Kathy Cregg, a representative of the teachers' union, says she wants the Department of Health to determine if swine flu is responsible for the illnesses at P.S. 255.

"We just want to know what it takes for a school to close," says fourth-grade teacher Eileen Calandrillo. "We don't want the kids to miss out on their education either, but we do need to know what's going on."

Some parents chose not to wait for an official order to keep their children home.

"She was not feeling well yesterday, and I decided not to let her go to school," says parent Natalia Prokopenko. "The doctor said she was OK, thank God, but now I'm so worried about everything."

Health officials say they are monitoring all the schools with a high number of absences. However, since there are still no confirmed cases of swine flu at P.S. 255, there are no plans to shut it down.

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