14 teachers call out sick, forces Suffolk school to close for the day

Posted at 11:18 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 19:34:43-05

SUFFOLK, Va. - One sick person might not ruin your day-to-day staffing, but when half the faculty at Suffolk Christian Academy (SCA) called out on Thursday, there was only one thing headmaster Tamra VanDorn says she could do: give the entire school a sick day.

“We had so many out that we felt like we needed to get them away from each other,” VanDorn told News 3’s Merris Badcock.

In total, 14 of SCA’s 33 teachers called out on Thursday, and according to VanDorn, their illnesses ran the gambit.

“Some people might have strep throat, some people are having a sinus infection, some people are having ear infections,” VanDorn said.

VanDorn could not speak to News 3 in person because she was also home sick, but she said this ‘act of God’ also forced her to close school Tuesday and Wednesday because so many students were out sick.

In all of her years as an educator, VanDorn says she has never had to do this before.

While VanDorn tried to make school work, at the last moment she realized she simply did not have enough substitute teachers to move forward with a regular school day.

According to a post on the school’s Facebook page, VanDorn found 12 substitute teachers, but was not able to find two more to cover the 14 faculty out.

“I certainly was worried how inconvenient it would be for the parents who work…but the feedback that I got from the parents was just that they were overwhelmingly appreciative.”

SCA’s basketball game scheduled for Thursday night will go on as planned since VanDorn says students do not seem to be suffering from different illnesses anymore like faculty.

SCA will be open tomorrow and on a regular schedule. Students and faculty will only have to make up one day for the sick days at the end of the year.