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School leaders want Ebola plan

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BATON ROUGE - The Ebola scare has prompted precautionary measures from top state educators.

Wednesday, the State Department of Education along with the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met with the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to introduce a procedure to deal with potential virus outbreaks at public school campuses.

"No one ever said, if someone has a virus, should we empty the building?  Quite frankly, we should have been concerned sooner," BESE President Chas Roemer said.

Roemer admitted a plan to deal with potential virus outbreaks should have been in place before now.

During the meeting, officials approved a measure allowing administrators to shut down a school if someone is infected or deemed a potential a risk.

"We have a lot of obvious regulations about if the school is on fire or bad weather, what districts need to do. We wanted to recognize, especially given the information that people are worried about now with Ebola and other similar circumstances, that public health is also a reason that a principal can make a decision to not have school on a particular day," Roemer said.

The evacuation and response measures will be put into place across the board, he said.

"It's not just a Louisiana issue of how do we prepare. It's a worldwide issue of how do we prepare for things."

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