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Silvermine parents warned, reassured about contagious disease as angry Norwalk parents spread the word

The Clostridium difficile bacteria.
The Clostridium difficile bacteria. (Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

NORWALK, Conn. – A “clarifying letter” sent to parents of Silvermine Elementary School students has been called “BS” by an angry and frustrated Norwalk father, whose daughter has been ill for months.

Norwalk leaders are assuring Silvermine parents that the child’s health problem is an isolated incident, that every precaution has been taken and that they are confident there is no risk of infection. The father said school officials should have alerted the public sooner and expressed rage at the lack of response he said the family has gotten from the city.

The fourth-grader has been fighting C. difficile, commonly known as C. diff and officially labeled Clostridium difficile, for about six months, the father said. This is spread by bacteria in feces, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pain, CDC says.

“We feel (she) more than likely picked this up in school,” the father said.

“To our best knowledge, this appears to be isolated within a single family, and no other child at the school is experiencing these symptoms. Our medical experts agree that there is no reason to believe that the school is the source of the infection,” Silvermine Principal Ivette Ellis said in the letter, which went to Silvermine parents Thursday.

“We’re doing everything to make sure Sivermine is safe,” Mayor Harry Rilling said. Dr. Rivera is fully aware of the situation. He consulted with Dr. Norman Weinstein, and the child’s pediatrician. They made sure it is an isolated incident.”

“All appropriate actions were taken by the school system and the City, and there is no indication that any students other than the one affected student have contracted this illness,” Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons wrote in an email.

The child’s mother and father say that they tried to work with school officials beginning in December, but felt a need to go to the press Thursday as the word was not getting out to parents. The mother spoke to Rilling, but only after state Sen. Bob Duff (D-25) intervened, they say. Before that, emails had gone unanswered, he said.

“I met with the mother and told her we would support her through this, to let us know whatever she needs,” Rilling said. “… It’s a tough thing when your child is sick. It can be draining. Certainly, I have a lot of sympathy with that.  I told her that the full resources of the city are available to her.

Director of Health Tim Callahan met with the mother, Rilling said.

“Tim Callahan came over and sat with her and with the nurse,” Rilling said. “They talked with her and gave her information. I told Tim to send someone over to the school to make sure there was plenty of soap in the dispenser, plenty of paper towels and hand sanitizer.”

“She met with him and it was basically a waste of time. He stated they could not go public with this to protect our daughter’s privacy,” the father said.

The anger and threat of disease is being publicized on Facebook.

“The school should have taken action sooner. They said it was a ‘privacy’ issue. So how is it they can send out letters for lice?” the father wrote. “Even if our daughter is the source, the school should have informed parents and let them know what to look for. And there is no excuse for all the people my wife contacted completely ignoring her when she first contacted them. When she finally did speak with the Board of Ed she was told action would be taken and they would get back to her. That did not happen. It took a trip to the mayor’s office to get the school to act.”

The father said his wife had met with Deputy Superintendent Tony Daddona Wednesday. “He said a statement was going to be released yesterday (Wednesday) and he would get back to my wife. Neither of those happened,” the father said.

The parents said the letter released by Ellis essentially “blames” them for their daugher’s illness. The letter states:

“Before the holidays, we became aware that a child had been diagnosed with C. difficile, or C. diff, a bacteria that can cause diarrhea and other symptoms. We spoke with the child’s parent, and later (with the family’s permission) the doctor’s office for the student, to understand the facts and make sure the child was under proper treatment. Like other bacterial infections, antibiotics are typically the prescribed course of treatment, and students remain out of school until active symptoms have subsided.

“At school, our custodians were directed to make sure that the classroom was disinfected. New soap dispensers were installed and filled, as was hand sanitizer. (These dispensers are in the process of being installed at all NPS schools.) Since we go through more soap and paper towels during the winter season, custodians are checking frequently to make sure supplies are regularly re-stocked.

“We have also reinforced our emphasis on good hygiene efforts with students across the school. Teachers were directed to hold a class meeting with students to reiterate the importance of washing their hands frequently, and about practicing overall good hygiene. In this situation, hand washing is the preferred method. We encourage all families to reinforce those lessons at home as well.

“To ensure that the school was taking any and all precautions, we also discussed this situation with the District’s medical advisor, Dr. Norman Weinberger, and Tim Callahan, Health Director for the City of Norwalk. Both agreed that the risk of transmission was very low, and that the school’s emphasis on hand-washing and our standard cleaning protocols are the correct response.”

The parents say a school in New Jersey was closed when a child was diagnosed with C. diff.

“We are aware of the media coverage about a school in New Jersey who had an adult diagnosed with C. diff,” Ellis wrote in her letter. “While we are not familiar with the facts and what caused their particular response, according to health experts, C. diff. is something that is being seen more often in many communities. Frequent hand-washing is the best protection against this as well as other infections frequently seen over the winter months.”

On Facebook, the mother said, ““Whether she washing her hands right or wrong the school was notified months ago something should have been done. In between girls using the bathroom the toilet handle was never cleaned. So say someone got poop on their hands a little and didn’t realize it. They are touching the handle to flush the toilet the next girl goes in and touches that very handle. If they don’t wash their hands now they are touch the doorknob to get out of the bathroom and going to class or the art room where they now are touching crayons, paintbrushes etc. It’s a domino effect.

There is speculation in the Facebook discussions that the high percentage of Latino families at the school may be confusing the issue, as parents think it’s just a stomach virus.

“I’ve spoken to other parents where their children have the same symptoms & they are too scared to speak up,” the mother wrote. “So I put myself out there because parents need to know how serious this is. We have a right to know. We have the right to protect our children. Do your research. Many times this is misdiagnosed because parents & doctors THINK it’s a STOMACH BUG because of the close symptoms. But it’s not. Come step foot in my house & see how it is to deal with this. Not only is my 4th grader affected but so is my baby. Are you a father/ parent do you know what it’s like to deal with a screaming baby day in & day out? Have you read the news that’s why little kids are dying every day. I’m not that type of parent but I strongly felt that other parents should know the symptoms. Had the school listened & notified parents SOONER I’m sure other parents would’ve said hey that’s strange my kids have the same thing. But no they chose to sweep it under the rug.”

Some of the parents’ Facebook friends are pushing back.

“If it’s being ignored, it’s a major major problem,” one woman wrote. “However, to completely rule out that your daughter got it nowhere else but school seems completely unreasonable as well! As a parent to two little girls, i would love to say no germs ever enter our household. But that’s not true! We grocery shop. We need to repair things and go hardware stores. We pay our mortgage and go to the bank. We take the same car to do all of these mundane everyday things. You are clearly upset and rightfully so, it’s stressful to have a sick child. I live in Silvermine, walking distance of the school – so this is very close to home for me. Writing in all caps doesn’t prove much of a point, in my opinion. Also, laws are in place that prevent schools from giving out certain information!”

But one mom, whose child had C. diff a year ago, said otherwise.

“I’m sad that you … had to reach the levels of anger and frustration that you did, all because you love and care about your daughters health and well-being at school,” she wrote. “Even if there is a 1% chance that the cdiff originated at Silvermine, it should’ve been dealt with immediately – at your request, since you have the child who contracted the disease. If this letter is insinuating that your daughter caught cdiff at home, then the letter makes no sense. You catch cdiff through 3 things…a lengthy stay in the hospital, a long time of being on heavy antibiotics or receiving chemo. If you haven’t done any of these 3 things, but you are diagnosed with cdiff, then you know you we’re exposed to someone who has it.”

“My husband & I & our dog have all tested NEGATIVE,” the sick fourth grader’s mom wrote. “I’ll tell you why because we clean our house, we wash our hands & there isn’t more than 450 people walking around with germs & bacteria & NOT WASHING THEIR HANDS WITH SOAP & WATER. There hasn’t been any SOAP at that school & the children don’t wash their hands. I’ve seen it. This was brought up to the principal & just now things are changing. And if you were a parent or had any logic you’d know people send their kids to school sick ALL the time and don’t let anyone know because they lack moral skills or can’t take time off of work to care for them. Not only that but when A doctors note is sent in it just merely states ‘Little Johnny is cleared to return to school.’ It NEVER tells you what they had. How would you feel if my child had this & is playing with ur child sharing food, sharing material etc & you didn’t know then a few days later your child became infected with it. You wouldn’t be mad??? I’m mad the school didn’t warn the other parents at least in her class. Yet a child gets lice & letters get sent home but no letter went home until today about this contagious infection.”

Letter to Parents Regarding Health Concern (E) Jan 15 15

Comments

36 responses to “Silvermine parents warned, reassured about contagious disease as angry Norwalk parents spread the word”

  1. Lifelong Teacher

    This is disheartening but considering the players, not at all surprising. I am so sorry that the parents were treated with disrespect.

    Cleanliness in the buildings is a huge issue. Custodians in elementary schools clean the desks once each year – during the summer months. In between, many teachers buy their own cleaning materials to do the job. Some do it weekly, others monthly, etc. This shouldn’t be necessary.. You wouldn’t believe what comes off the desks. I’ve never seen them clean door handles or railings, but you can only imagine what a culture from those surfaces would grow,

  2. John Levin

    Yes, elementary schools are germ factories. But that doesn’t mean they are the only source of all disease. Maybe math and science classes for the parents?

  3. LisaLen

    It’s very sad that the child is so sick and I wish her a speedy recovery. Some of us have had the unfortunate experience of having a seriously sick child. That said, as I learned with my own son, even with the best infectious disease doctors it’s very hard to pinpoint exactly where the kids catch the bacteria. It’s also very hard when you’re in the thick of having a sick kid to deal with other things and it’s a shame this family had to do that.

    Until residents are going to participate in the community and grassroots change, we will continue to have crisis and frustrated parents driven to the breaking point. We need parents to run for public office to affect change in policies. We need parents to participate with local groups that are working on grassroots effort for positive change in the city.

    Otherwise, we will continue on this treadmill going nowhere, and our kids will not be any better off.

  4. Cee Kay

    I am surprised we are debating whether the school was the source of the infection or not. In the scheme of things, it is more important that all parents in the school system are notified that there has been one case of such an infectious disease so everyone can take preventative measures. Yes, it is important to find the source of infection so it can be neutralized but, in the mean time, shouldn’t we also be making sure no one else catches it?!

  5. LWitherspoon

    Any comment from custodians regarding claims that the school was out of soap?

  6. EastNorwalkChick

    Regarding Life Long Teacher’s post, I can’t believe that cleaning the desks and door handles with disinfectant, even once a week, is not done in everyone of these schools. The teachers should not have to do this, this should be part of the custodians cleaning routine…no wonder why so many kids get sick.

  7. MarjorieM

    It has become the typical reaction to believe everything one reads on blogs, FaceBook, etc. there are times when I think Snopes should actively research the truth before it is published anywhere. I feel sorry for the family and do not doubt that the child is sick. I wonder if the claims that the schools are out of soap, there was no response, etc. have been followed up by NON. I am curious to see the response to these claims by central office and the schools before thiese accusations become “the truth,” as so often happens. People do not deserve to be named unless they have the opportunity to respond. If it turns out to be true, then publish.

  8. Wake Up Norwalk

    You mean the custodians that are being outsourced, don’t blame them folks.

  9. fedUP

    Wake Up – what does being outsourced have to do with anything? you are being paid to do a job DO IT or QUIT.

  10. Lifelong Teacher

    I worked for twenty years in our elementary schools, way before any talk of outsourcing. Desks and chairs were cleaned once every Summer by the custodians. EastNorwalkChick, sorry if you don’t believe it. Ask any teacher.

  11. Harold Cobin

    The world and everything in it is bathed in bacteria. The idea of disinfecting every surface is feel-good nonsense. Wash your hands frequently, keep your hands away from your face. Illness from pathogens is an unavoidable part of life.

  12. LWitherspoon

    @Wake Up

    Nobody is blaming anybody, there was simply interest expressed in an explanation from someone close to the situation at Silvermine elementary, i.e. custodians there.

    Since you brought up outsourcing, custodians were only outsourced at Jefferson and Columbus elementary schools, not at Silvermine. Therefore the custodians at Silvermine are district union employees. It’s worth nothing that the savings from outsourcing at just two elementary schools was more than $180,000. I wonder how Jefferson and Columbus compare to Silvermine with respect to cleanliness.

  13. Educator

    From the parents own admission, their child contracted C. Diff six months ago. That puts us in July. Their child did not contract this bacterial infection in school. For them to continue to create this mass hysteria throughout the city is completely irresponsible and deserving of an apology.

  14. Francis

    I have proof that there was no soap at Silvermine for at least one week in a letter signed by the principal. The health department was called due to this. The savings lwitherspoon talks of are what you were told by the board. The cost of privatizing will raise $60000 dollars by the 2016-17 school year. You can request the contracts and see this with freedom of information through city hall. This is without extras like snow removal and overtime. Private company’s come in low and end up costing a lot more. Ask how many private janitors have been removed due to drinking on the job. If there ends up being any savings from outsourcing those two schools it is lost in outsourcing the lawn care. Custodians are paid to do lawn care along with the private company greenway property services. The city is double paying for the same job. You can view that under foi as well. There are also multiple open custodial positions throughout the district. The board budgeted for 9 floater positions which receive no benefits and no paid days off. There are only 4 floaters as of now. Custodians work overtime and get time and a half. Floaters get straight pay. Floaters work 8 hours and a custodian getting overtime only gets 3 no matter the size of the area being cleaned.

  15. Lifelong Teacher

    One of the two schools privatized has had six custodians dismissed for inappropriate behavior on the job.

  16. MarjorieM

    “This is disheartening but considering the players, not at all surprising. I am so sorry that the parents were treated with disrespect.”
    Leifelong teacher, just what does that mean?
    Do we really know if this accusation is true? Have ” the players” been given a chance to respond? This is precisely why I am against the new “Tar and Feather Norwalk Way” which people are now engaging in and ruining individuals’ reputations.
    NON, are you interviewing those who have been accused of “neglecting” the issue? Or are public servants now presumed guilty by hearsay?
    Maybe they are guilty…..maybe not. I am astounded by the willingness to presume guilt. That’s all.

    1. Marjorie,
      I made a phone call and sent an email to BoE officials this afternoon regarding the allegations about soap but I have not gotten a reply.
      Nancy

  17. LWitherspoon

    @Francis

    If what you say is true, that there are no savings from outsourcing, then I suggest you bring the evidence to Shirley Mosby, the BoE member who has already expressed sympathy for the outsourced custodians.

    @Lifelong Teacher

    Remarkable. Which school and what was the inappropriate behavior?

  18. Tom Keegan

    http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/environmental_health/eoha/pdf/ct_green_cleaning_products_in_schools_law_summary.pdf
    Look no further than the ridiculous law passed by the Ct State Legislature mandating Green Cleaning +Products in all municipal buildings including our schools….fighting viruses and germs with hydrogen peroxide doesn’t work…….ask your school custodians & teachers why they’re asking parents to send in clorox wipes!

  19. Miguel Cruz

    I provided NON with some of the info in the article. Our daughter was showing Symptoms in June, but we thought it was just a simple stomach bug.

    It wasn’t until a few weeks later my wife noticed a change in our 15 month old’s stool. We had her tested and she was positive. At that point the doctor advised us to all get tested.

    We did. Our older daughter was positive, my wife and I negative. Our dog even tested negative.

    So if our daughter had this since June it is still possible she picked it up at school. Now I know some may say we are covering our tracks and changing our story.

    That is not the case. My wife is the one who spends the most time with our girls and deals with doctors visits. I work long ours sometimes due to the nature of my job and I’m not home enough to know all the details of doctor visits.

    Regardless of where our daughter picked this up the school still had a responsibility to act and Mrs. Ellis chose not to initially.

    She told my wife there just isn’t enough time for students to wash their hands before they eat. Rather then say, let’s sit down and discuss things to see what we can do. Mrs. Ellis has yet to respond to my emails from yesterday. She also told my wife they could not inform parents due to privacy issues? Really? We came to you and asked you to inform parents, so how is that a privacy issue? Yet they finally released a statement, what happened to the so-called privacy issue?

    My wife and myself have been very involved with Silvermine for the past four years. Volunteering at the school and being extremely generous with donations and this is how Mrs. Ellis treated us. She basically blew us off.

    Why did it take a personal friend reaching out to a board of Ed member to get some action taken? Do you have to be politically connected to be heard?

    My wife met with Tony Dadonna on Wednesday. He assured her a statement would go out that afternoon and he would get back in touch with her by 5 pm.

    Neither of those things happened. The statement wasn’t issued until the following day and he never got back to my wife.

    If there was no reason for concern as Mrs. Ellis first claimed why did they send out the notice? To try and point blame at our family?

    How can Mrs. Ellis say it is an isolated case? Does she not realize just how many parents send their children to school sick or may not even realize their child is sick? This can be mistaken for a minor stomach bug. Did she ask every student if they had symptoms?

    If everything was being done properly at Silvermine why are new hand soap dispensers being installed as stated in the letter she issued? The hand sanitizers have been empty for some time. Apparently we were told their just wasn’t money to keep them filled. So now according to het letter they are being filled. I guess the funds magically appeared.

    She also stated the classrooms were sanitized. Why couldn’t she inform us of that and exactly when was this done? I’ve seen the custodial staff and a few of them certainly don’t look like they’re setting any records for getting work done. It’s the typical “union mentality.”

    Our daughter’s class was cleaned when my wife initially contacted the school regarding this issue. After speaking with the school nurse, who was completely frustrated with the overall hygiene at the school, the nurse took it upon herself and purchase cleaning products and direct Alex, one of the custodians, to clean all the surfaces in her class. I’m sure this was done. Alex is a good man and always helpful.

    I also have a difficult time believing Tim Callahan from the health dept. He claimed they had “numerous” conversations about this issue. I’m sorry, but that I do not believe. I would be interested to know if there is any documentation of these conversations and again, why did it take so long for action to be taken.

    Mayor Rilling was contacted twice by my wife, but never responded. He only responded after Senator Duff asked him to call me. It was at this point that Tim Callahan got involved Wednesday afternoon. Mayor Rilling instructed me to send my wife to his office and he would advise her on who to speak with. When my wife arrived she was confronted by Sally Johnson who told my wife she could not see the mayor because she did not have an appointment. Ms. Johnson went to check with the mayor. When she returned she was suddenly polite and tried to act nice. Sorry, but her actions were uncalled for.

    I know some may say we are wrong for going to the media, but until you have been through what we have you really can’t judge us. Our other issue is how many people we spoke with, all of whom claimed they would do something and they did nothing. Why be in these positions if you are not willing to serve the public.

    We did not do this to create a panic. It was to inform parents and make sure their families are safe. We do not want other families going through this.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but we stand by our decision and would do it all over again if need be.

  20. MarjorieM

    Thank you, Nancy. How about the allegations regarding the phone calls that were not answered? If they answer your e-mails or phone calls, I am curious about unanswered phone calls. If phone calls went unanswered about a contagious illness, that needs to be corrected.

  21. Kathleen Montgomery

    @Betty…interesting link you provided. Thanks.

  22. Mike Lyons

    Two corrections.

    First, Silvermine School has not run out of soap. We did have one custodian there who was telling people there was no soap because he had failed to check the storage room (where there was a box full of soap), but our building manager visited the school, showed him the box in the storage room, and solved the problem. Note that Silvermine custodial services have not been outsourced; the services are provided by the union custodians.

    Second, the statement above that “one of the two schools privatized has had six custodians dismissed for inappropriate behavior on the job” is erroneous. Of the contract custodians at Columbus and Jefferson, one was dismissed for not following the directions laid out to him at the beginning of the year (not because he did anything inappropriate), and one custodian quit United Services (he wasn’t dismissed for inappropriate behavior or anything else, he left just left the company). Outside of those two no one else has left.

  23. Norewalk Lifer

    Norwalk, the mayor, Lyons and all those in positions of influence, you can do better: it does not matter whether a child contracted this in school or out of school, it does not matter if the custodians are unionized or privatized, it does not matter if custodians were let go or tucked into eiderdown quilts and fed chicken dinners.

    What matters is clearly this story has gotten obfuscated, twisted, like political taffy, and turned into another story entirely.

    Read the words of the father; he laid out the story, listen to him, instead of the “panel of experts” that inhabit this site. To be honest? I got more from him, than I did from the article, or any other comment on this story

    Thank you Mr. Cruz, as a neighbor in Norwalk, though I don’t know, I hope your child recovers rapidly and with minimal discomfort.

    And also, thank you for alerting that school, we have taken legislated reaction to normal human situations to the most clogged, crabbed, and egocentric degree.

    I know people who appreciated your alert, of course, they are worried about their own children, but they wouldn’t have known, had you not alerted “tongue in cheek” the authorities,

    Regards
    Norwalk Lifer

  24. Suzanne

    NL, Thank you for putting this thread back into perspective, especially where the child’s health is concerned. You are right: the normal has become the legislated. What has happened to common sense?

  25. Anonymous

    I’m a Silvermine parent, and I’m thankful to the parents for raising the issue – and very sorry for what they are enduring. It’s a tremendous challenge to have a sick child, and I can’t even imagine the added challenges of dealing with the administration/BOE/local govt & the current resulting publicity. If nobody has said it yet – thank you. Thank you to both of the parents, your family is in our thoughts/prayers. Please know that the parents i know are fully supportive of you.

    In terms of the broader discussion – I am not all that interested in the BOE/Central Office angle, or the monday morning blame game that we just can’t ever seem to avoid. I’m sure there are lessons learned here at the “top of the house” – I’m hopeful there is a recognition of that & those lessons will be “learned” (notwithstanding anyone’s individual view of the top of the house). I’m much more concerned/challenged by the school-level topic of communication with parents. This is an elementary school – communication with parents should be a foundational focus/priority, not just because of the obvious age of the children involved, but also because this is the first/only interface that many new parents have with the Norwalk school system – it sets the tone at the outset. While I recognize that there may be some sort of central office angle to communication (website hosting/etc) – this must ultimately be owned & embraced at the school to be effective.

    My (personal) experience is that the admin office of our school is not naturally gifted at communication. This is not a judgment of any one person, they clearly have their hands full & everyone has different gifts, but the organization must recognize that if it is not a natural gift, it must be a strategic focus to ensure it happens…or it’ll slip through the cracks. As a parent somewhat new to Norwalk schools (oldest kid in elementary school), I’ve found communication with the school admin functions to be erratic, inconsistent, and often flat out defensive in tone (both structured communication to all parents, and personally). I could give examples, but I do not believe it would productive (might be read as a personal or specific critique) – the real point is an overarching general one. I don’t know how other elementary schools do it in Norwalk, but hopefully they’re also focused on this.

    Last – I should say our “in-classroom” experience has been phenomenal. The depth/pace of learning, diversity of experience, and quality of the teachers are things i would put up against any school (seriously). I deliver that message every time someone asks us why we haven’t moved to Wilton or further up (Fairfield/Trumbull/etc). Every school has unique challenges (even New Canaan/Wilton/Ridgefield…as we have many friends in those schools), and we count ourselves blessed to be in/at Silvermine.

    That said, without (1) improving the school level communication and (2) engaging parents in a more accessible/supportive/encouraging manner, I don’t see how you can build parents confidence & engagement in the school (individually, or Norwalk as a whole)…and you’re left with the historical perceptions as all people hear/know. I’m confident they can improve this if they focus on it, just hopeful that it becomes more of a priority (and possibly delegating to the right person).

    (sorry for the soapbox…I rarely comment, but this one happen to be close to home).

    NoN – thanks for the work you do to enable a forum for conversations like this.

  26. Wake Up Norwalk

    The Cruz’ are good people and I’m sorry they had to go through this. We should appreciate them coming forward to prevent other families from enduring what they have. Miguel hit the nail on the head when he said, “Do you have to be politically connected to be heard? The answer is yes, unless of course you bring your issue to NON.

  27. Miguel Cruz

    My wife and thank all those supporting us and understanding what the real issues are.

  28. annonymous

    my. lyons what you are saying is a COMPLETE LIE before you say something you should know the facts. im not going to do it on here but I have FACTS that can prove you are not telling the truth. I know you are doing damage control right now but at the end of the day children are very sick that should be the MAIN focus this poor family has to endure this pain of seeing there child sick and all you board of ed members want to do is try to protect your selves that is so selfish the principal treated this family horrible and I bet you nothing gets done about it. I had a nephew in that school and my sister took him out of there because she was so mean and nasty to my sister every time she talked to her. its sad you want to blame the low guys on the totem pole maybe you guys should look at your selves how can some of you put your head down at night and actually sleep. and bye the way stop acting like this is just a recent thing. deep down you know this has been in that school for a WHILE!!!!!!

  29. annonymous

    I wish the family would reach out to me or I could reach out to them. so maybe they can get some of the REAL facts, im SO sorry to hear about this and that your child has to go threw this, nancy if you can send me an personal email so maybe I can get in touch with the family that would be great. thanks for all you do NON

  30. Miguel Cruz

    Nancy, you may provide annonymous with my email address.

  31. annonymous, the statements I made are backed up with documentary proof (see https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Silvermine-History.pdf). If you have anything other than anonymous assertions here to back up your claims, feel free to share it.

    Let me make myself clear. I sympathize with the Cruzes situation. I have three children (now grown) of my own, and have had my share of trips to the emergency room, overnight stays in the hospital, and caring for sick children at home. I truly hope the medical care their children are receiving resolves the problem and their children return to health. As the records linked to above show, Grace Vetter and the other medical staff involved also showed concern and took what the medical professionals say was appropriate action to deal with the situation.

    Disagreeing the the Cruzes on whether or not other actions NOT recommended by the medical professionals (including the Health Department and the Cruzes’ own doctors) should be taken does not constitute not caring about the Cruzes’ children — it just means disagreeing over those further actions. The fact that there is not a single reported additional case of C. Diff in the school system does argue that the actions taken were appropriate.

  32. Miguel Cruz

    So why did we have such a difficult time dealing with everyone from BOE, school, health dept and city hall Mr. Lyons?

    Why did it take so long for “appropriate” actions to be taken?

    Why did it take a friend going to a board member to get things to happen?

    Like I said before, it makes you feel like unless you are politically connected you get nothing.

  33. Miguel Cruz

    And if you truly sympathize with is Mr. Lyons why couldn’t you reach out to us personally. Instead you’re busy defending the schools actions, which I can understand, but a quick phone call or email to us would have been appreciated.

  34. A_Taxpayer_And_A_Citizen

    Mike Lyons reads and comments upon articles on this site, and he sometimes becomes engaged in dialogues with people who also contribute. I admire his willingness to do that. However, the responsibility for communicating with parents and others who have problems with the schools rests with the administrators and other paid employees of the school system, not with the chairman or any member of the board of education.

    Beyond what I have read here, I don’t have any knowledge of the situation at Silvermine, and I can’t judge if anyone was treated shabbily. However, I hope that the appropriate administrator(s) will contact Mr. Cruz and at least attempt to engage in a conversation that will address his concerns. The communication would best be done in private, not on this site.

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