Howard Yocum Elementary School sign 

Two children who recently moved from Rwanda to the United States are being kept home from school after parents at Howard R. Yocum Elementary School in Maple Shade Township, N.J., voiced concerns about a possible outbreak of Ebola, Fox 29 reports.

Of course, Rwanda is an East African country that is located about 2,600 miles away from the West African region that is currently dealing with the virus, which has killed more than 4,000 people. That means it’s about as far from the affected area as Philadelphia is from Seattle, according to Fox 29.


However, the fact that the children are not from an affected area, lived far away from the affected area and did not have any symptoms of the virus did not appease the parents.

“Anybody from that area should just stay there until all this stuff is resolved. There’s nobody affected here; let’s just keep it that way,” one parent, John Povlow, told Fox 29. “I don’t feel comfortable sending my daughter to school with people who could be infected with Ebola.”

Other parents voiced similar concerns.

“Really concerns me. I don’t want to keep my boy out of school,” said Billy Dennison. “I think [they should stay home] for another couple of weeks; I don’t think it would hurt. I mean, you have a lot of children that are involved, so I don’t think it would hurt.”


Originally the school had only sent a letter to teachers’ homes notifying staff of the students’ arrival and of precautions to be taken. Those precautions included taking the students’ temperatures three times a day over the next 21 days, the longer side of the deadly virus’s incubation period.

Still, word got out, and soon enough, the district released a public letter on its website, explaining the situation to parents—but now also declaring that the parents of the Rwandan students would keep the children home for the 21-day incubation period instead.


It is unclear whether the parents offered to keep their children out of school on their own or if the school district made the suggestion, the news station notes.

Read more at Fox29.

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