Last night head teacher Hilary Eade said rigorous checks had confirmed there were no problems with the school’s boiler or gas supply and said the school would open as usual today.
A doctor called in to assess the situation said the sudden outbreak of illness was most likely to have been caused by a virus.
Really? Fast acting (and fast dissipating) virus!
Sounds more like a case of mass hysteria to me, like the panics often documented by ‘Fortean Times’. But no doubt the doc decided it wasn’t politic to suggest that…
But some parents said they were not satisfied that the school was safe for their children to return and told the Post they would not be sending them in today.
Oh boy. Here we go!
Dr Cowburn said children had been tested for carbon monoxide levels and found they were “not significantly elevated”. But he said he was unable to completely rule out the presence of carbon monoxide at the school because he was not an expert.
One parent asked him if he would send his child back to the school given the circumstances and he answered that he would.
But Amy Bennett, 27, and Shane Danter, 42, of Coalpit Heath, did not want their five-year-old daughter Shaya (Ed: sic *sigh*) to go to school today.
Ms Bennett said: “She’s not going to school, not without enough information. Who’s to say she won’t be ill when she’s there? What if another 30-odd children are ill?
“It’s not like they could be sure it was a stomach bug. It’s not like they know what caused it.
“I won’t be sending her to school until they are 100 per cent sure.”
Is asking for 100% surety ever reasonable? If the carbon monoxide levels in the school have been ruled out as a cause, shouldn’t that be enough?
Mr Danter said: “I don’t think it’s right for the kids to go to school. That many kids don’t just get sick for no reason and it hasn’t been limited to one class. ”
Parent Catherine Fennell, who has two children at the school, said: “I am not terribly keen on sending my children back because we don’t know for sure what happened. When so many children fall ill, and are not from one class, it makes you very nervous.”
Another mum, who asked not to be named said: “I don’t know what to think. We are all discussing whether our children should go back. I don’t think we will be sending ours back because we have not been told categorically what happened.”
It does seem as though the authorities’ desire to be circumspect here and not raise the spectre of mass hysteria has lead to them shooting themselves in the foot. These parents know something’s up with the official story, but they don’t know quite what.
But isn’t it also a worrying sign that fewer people are now willing to believe the official story?