SOUTHGATE, Mich. (WXYZ) - More than half of the students at Allen Elementary in Southgate stayed home from school Friday after contracting what district officials believe was a stomach virus.
We're told 181 students and four employees were absent due to symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
Nancy Nagle, Interim Superintendent for Southgate Community Schools, tells Action News that the symptoms appear to be lasting 24 to 48 hours.
Nagle believes several dozen parents kept their children home on Friday as a precaution.
It began with eight students becoming ill early Thursday afternoon. They were sent home early with their parents.
Then Friday morning, the calls came pouring into the school office from parents reporting their children sick.
A number of children who attended school on Friday had to be sent home after they also began experiencing similar symptoms.
Some parents who spoke to Action News say they were not notified that such a high number of children were reported ill before they sent their own children to school Friday morning.
A letter sent to parents late Friday afternoon reads:
"Hello, This is Mr. Wolsek, Principal of Allen Elementary School. As you well know or may have heard, Allen Elementary had an unusually large number of student absences today, mostly associated with flu-like symptoms.
At this time, our plan for the weekend includes disinfecting all student touch points including classrooms, cafeteria and office areas. In addition, all hard surfaces, floors, carpeted areas and bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected. This is in addition to our normal cleaning procedures.
All proper authorities have been contacted and are guiding us in the appropriate methods for disinfecting and cleaning.
We are planning on a normal school session on Monday, January 23. Keep in mind school begins at 9:00 am."