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Swine Flu Panic Pandemic

June 3, 2009

Okay, all parents got an automated message from the School District this evening notifying them of 2 confirmed cases of swine flu.  Although I appreciate the attempt at communication, there is such as thing as bad communication, and this is one of those instances.

Automated calls from the district to parent’s home, cell, and business numbers should be reserved when parents are asked to do something – keep their children home, prepare for an unscheduled early release, bus delay – that sort of thing.  When it’s used for information purposes only, at best it diminishes the power that this channel should convey to messages delivered through it or, at worst, it creates unnecessary panic and worry.   After all, the public has learned what it needs to know to generally address swine flu from the multitude of media on the subject…what could parents possibly do differently now that 2 out of 5000 students have it in Merrimack?  Isn’t this bordering on sensationalism?

A better communication would have been a note home from the student, a posting on the school district web site/Powerschool, e-mail – in other words, the typical channels we use for this type of message.

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