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One-Third of All LAUSD Students Called In Absent During First Week Back At School

130,000 students in total were absent, with 17% of students testing positive for COVID-19

By Evan Symon, January 14, 2022 4:23 pm

The Los Angeles Unified School District  announced on Friday that 130,000 district students, or around 1/3rd of all students, have been absent this week from school, with the large amount of absences attributed to COVID-19 and COVID-19 fears.

Some of the absences can be directly tied to COVID, with 17% of students and 15% of teachers testing positive earlier this week. While other absences can be attributed to usual factors such as colds, other illnesses, and emergencies, LAUSD staff attributed a lot of them to students and parents being concerned about the omicron variant surge.

“I got e-mails from several parents about this,” said “Rosa,” a Los Angeles public school teacher to the Globe on Friday. “One-third of students being out is roughly where my school is at, and it’s because everyone is afraid of catching COVID, despite being vaccinated or getting the booster.”

“They see the news and just don’t want to take that risk. We do not want to go back to Zoom classes, that is not even on the table for teachers right now. But with everyone insistent on in-person classes and the only way out became absences. So this shouldn’t be surprising.”

LAUSD officials have done what they can to battle the high absences. While absent teachers have had substitute teachers, and office administrators have even replaced absent teachers, officials have conveyed to parents and students that the schools are safe and staff at each school are making them as COVID-free as possible.

“They are safe places because of the protective measures that are in place here,” said incoming LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “Parents need to understand that, they need to bring kids to school.”

“The data trends show that the omicron surge is likely to subside in the coming weeks, and that will bring greater stability among staff and student attendance. But we need to be cautious and I’m concerned about the fact that as soon as conditions improve a little bit, we let our guard down, we go back to where we used to be. We cannot allow that to happen. At stake is the viability of schools being open. The board has done everything right in terms of protective actions for the benefit of students.”

LAUSD School Board President Kelly Gonez echoed Carvalho on Friday, adding that the number of students testing positive for COVID-19 has gone down during the week, hinting that Los Angeles may be on the downward trend of new cases.
“Yes, our positivity rates are higher to start the spring semester, but we’re seeing that trend in a positive direction,” noted Gonez.

Parents on keeping children home

However, parents remain split on the issue, despite the downward trend of cases.

“I have two boys and a girl I’m keeping out of school this week,” said Ana Hernandez, a parent and a leader of a parents group at her children’s school, in an interview with the Globe on Friday. “We care about them getting an education, but we also need to protect them from any unavoidable dangers. This new strain, the rates of death are lower, but it’s still there. They can also catch it much more easier.

“They can make all the assurances in the world, but their own figures say almost one in five students have COVID. That does not sound safe to any parent.”

Another parent anonymously told the Globe that “We need to keep our kids going to school. They’re taking every precaution. And right now, they really can’t afford to miss any proper schooling after the hectic two years we’ve had. Plus they have vaccination mandates in place and are firing any teacher not complying. They’re serious.”

COVID positivity rates among students and teachers are expected to continue to drop next week, with the number of absences likely to be reduced as a result. Unlike neighboring school districts that have cancelled classes all next week due to COVID-19, such as Culver City, LA is expected to remain open for in-person classes.

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7 thoughts on “One-Third of All LAUSD Students Called In Absent During First Week Back At School

  1. The scare campaign has been successful. Children who are at statistically zero risk of severe illness from the virus and especially the much milder Omicron (Moronic) are staying home falling further and further behind. LAUSD is already one of the worst in the country. It produces borderline idiots….

    1. On the bright side, maybe they are not “absent” but are now being home-schooled. One can hope they are starving the beast, anyway. Or the fed-up families moved to a reasonable state or to a CA county where there are reasonable school districts. Once upon a time Culver City Unified was a model district. Long ago. The devastation of the leftist destroyers has been absolutely heartbreaking.

  2. Its understandable for why parents are keeping their kids at home. The deadly Omicron variant is a risk to everyone. It is NOT mild in all cases! Cases have exploded in CA thus extra precaution is needed.

  3. The non-MD director of health in L.A. County, as well as Newscum in Sacramento, are still operating like this is the original Chicom virus or the Delta variant. You see, they can’t give up authoritarian control yet. If they were honest and scientific, they would cancel all mandates statewide and tell people to handle the Omicron variant like they do with a cold. And then tell EVERYONE to go back to work and open all the schools. 93% of hospitalizations right now are for the Omicron variant, NO ONE is on respirators, and the average stay is two days and NOT in ICU. Same as in flu season. Vaccinated and unvaccinated have the same reaction to this variant: mild cold. Let’s stop the idiocy NOW.

    1. The Omicron variant has the ability to mutate into a variant that is even more contagious and possibly more deadly. Just google that fact and you will find numerous scientists saying this.

      1. Just like ALL viruses., like the common cold and the flu. Do you go whining about those viruses mutating too..??.

        Go find some cheese to go with your whine..!!!!

  4. Why are you so fearfull of the Omicron troll? Haven’t you had your two shots and booster? Don’t worry about mutations they will have another shot for you to take to cover that. Just live your life in fear, do and think as your told, and continue to be the good troll you are.

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