State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Cade Brumley talks about his changes to the COVID policy for Louisiana schools, including an explanation of his "parent choice quarantine" option.

Brumley's Department of Education announced Wednesday the creation of a new parent choice option for systems around the state to include in their quarantine determination process.

"Individual school systems can elect how they determine to make quarantining decisions," Brumley says, "What I have continued to hear out of some systems and some leaders and certainly some parents is this idea of maybe we are quarantining too many children.

Here's everything Dr. Brumley told KEEL listeners:

"I've heard from families who've had to quarantine their kids three, four or five times for multiple weeks."

Brumley says that if a school system decides to implement his new option, mandatory quarantines for students previously defined as being in "close contact” will no longer be required.

Instead, the parent / guardian will be immediately notified of the exposure and given the option to quarantine their child or allow them to remain in school.

But Brumley emphasizes that he wants local leaders to be making decisions for the people in their community.

"I am not suggesting one particular quarantine protocol over another," he says, "What I'm suggesting is simply that we wanted to give systems an additional protocol that they might consider.

"We can no longer ignore the unintended academic consequences of our students unnecessarily missing school. This new, common sense option empowers parents and local communities with the authority to make health related decisions for their students."

But Brumley also reiterates that this in no way changes the process school systems use to handle a student that tests positive. If a students tests positive or shows COVID symptoms, that student should isolate until they have recovered and are no longer infectious.

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