Defiant mum keeps daughter from school

A MUM from Ipswich has refused to send her daughter into school because of fears of swine flu.Melanie Herring, of Defoe Road, is today worried her ill father may die if daughter Chloe passes the disease on to him.

A MUM from Ipswich has refused to send her daughter into school because of fears of swine flu.

Melanie Herring, of Defoe Road, is today worried her ill father may die if daughter Chloe passes the disease on to him.

However, her concerns come after parents were warned not to keep their children off school because the chance of being infected is now as high anywhere else.

As health bosses prepare for the virus to affect up to 100,000 people in Suffolk, they are now shifting their strategy to damage limitation by offering anti-viral drugs and self-help techniques.


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A vaccine is also due to be distributed to everyone in the county from the end of August, with priority being given to high-risk groups who have underlying health problems.

Mrs Herring has not allowed Chloe, 11, to go in to Whitton Community Primary School for the last two days despite knowing she could be sanctioned for non-attendance.

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She feels the school is not doing enough to tackle the problem after a pupil was confirmed to have the virus and is particularly concerned for her father, 83-year-old John Chaplin, who has suffered a stroke and heart attack.

“They should shut the school down and give it a thorough clean,” she said.

“I am worried because if my father gets the virus he is definitely going to die. My niece also has a three-week-old baby and Chloe could pass it on to her.”

Mrs Herring also revealed her brother, Les Chaplin, has also refused to take his children, Savren, seven, and Toroy, 10, into school for the same reasons.

Ann Taylor, headteacher of Whitton Community Primary School, said: “We have followed all the procedures as recommended by Suffolk County Council and the NHS.

“Parents are responding positively to the school's guidance and they are continuing to let their children into school as normal.

“We are emphasising the importance of personal hygiene and we will continue with a normal school programme until the end of term. We hope everyone will stay calm and sensible for the sake of the children.”

Have you stopped taking your kids to school? Should parents be punished for withdrawing their children? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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