School panic: swine flu bombshell

PARENTS have been told not to panic after a school's acting principal informed parents that a child may have been exposed to swine flu.

Redbank State School acting principal Colleen Engel sent a letter home to parents on Monday saying a student had possibly been in contact with an adult who had swine flu.

But an Education Queensland spokeswoman yesterday said there were no confirmed cases of Influenza A H1N1 at the school.

The school sent another letter home with students yesterday which said the student had been cleared of swine flu.

In yesterday's letter, Ms Engel said she apologised for “any concern or anxiety I may have caused as a result of yesterday's letter”.

“At the time I felt it was important to advise you of this immediately,” the letter said.

“I have since been notified that the adult has not been confirmed by health authorities as having swine flu.”

Vanessa Langdren, whose children Jack and Adam attend the school, said she had not been worried about the potential swine flu outbreak.

Mrs Langdren said some parents rang Education Queensland, wanting to close the school but she did not see the point.

“Even if they keep them at home, what's to say they haven't already come into contact with the child who's possibly been infected?” Mrs Langdren said.

“I think some people overreact.

“It's good to be worried but up to a point.”

Mrs Langdren thought the acting principal did the right thing keeping parents updated on the situation.

Another parent said it was responsible of the school to release information as they received it.

“I'd rather know and it be a false alarm than not be told,” she said.

The Education Queensland spokeswoman said Redbank State School was opened as usual yesterday.

The school also called all parents yesterday to correct the information.

A Queensland Health officer and Education Queensland regional executive director were on site yesterday to address parents' concerns.

State Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller said she supported Ms Engel's actions.

“My understanding is that it is completely innocent,” Mrs Miller said.

“She is a fantastic acting principal of Redbank State School and would have acted out of complete concern for the kids.

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