molly gray

Tim Payne and Shannon Tatro talk with Lt. Gov. Molly Gray during her visit to Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington on Wednesday morning.

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BENNINGTON — When Lt. Gov. Molly Gray visited Mount Anthony Union High School Wednesday morning, she heard from Principal Tim Payne and nurse Shannon Tatro that the school nurse’s office has been on the receiving end of at least one difficult conversation per day from households upset about COVID-19 protocols and quarantine guidelines.

Friday, Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union Superintendent James Culkeen, in a video message posted on the school’s Facebook page, asked parents and guardians to remember that school nurses in the district don’t set those policies — and that they ought not take the brunt of frustration.

“I want all families to know that our SVSU schools are following state guidelines for staff and students returning to school following an illness revised by the Vermont Department of Health in August 2021,” Culkeen said. “The manner in which your children return to school following an illness or a state-mandated quarantine is not developed by our school nurses, although they are tasked with carrying it out.

“I am asking all members of our community to be kind and patient as we continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has on our learners and schools.”

Wednesday, Tatro and Payne told Gray that the nurses’ office at the school has been busier than ever before, handling COVID-19 protocols and students with mental health concerns.


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