Lincoln Schools Close Again Due To Widespread Illness

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The same day its students returned to classes after a two-day break to deal with a mass stomach illness, the Lincoln School District closed its doors again due to sickness, the district superintendent said.

Administrators plan to re-open Lincoln schools Tuesday.

Students are showing flu-like symptoms and many have the flu, but the illness has not yet been identified for most cases, said Superintendent Clay Hendrix.

About 250 students and 25 teachers either called in sick or left school sick Thursday. The district does not have enough substitute teachers on-hand to fill the open classrooms of the sick teachers, Hendrix said.

Hendrix made the decision to take Friday and Monday off to hopefully "break the cycle" of sickness and allow students and teachers to become healthy again, he said.

Widespread stomach illness forced Lincoln schools to close its doors Monday after 200 students called in sick to school. Another 60 children left school sick before 1 p.m., Hendrix said.

Hendrix said teachers and staff members at the three schools in the district were also sick or had sick children at home.

The district’s janitorial staff disinfected the buildings Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for the re-opening of schools Thursday morning.

The district has an elementary, middle and high school. All three were shut down after 1 p.m. Monday. Hendrix said most of the sick students were at the elementary and the high school.

The Lincoln School District has a student population of about 1,200.

The Jay School District in Jay, Okla., was also forced to close its schools Thursday due to mass flu-like symptoms affecting students.

Superintendent Charles Thomas estimates about 15 percent of the district's 1,750 students either called in sick Thursday or left school ill.

Administrators plan to disinfect the schools over the weekend and resume classes Monday, Thomas said.

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