Florida student quarantined due to menstrual cycle

Fort Myers eighth-grade student required doctor's note to return to school
Posted at 11:28 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 08:34:55-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Fort Myers parent said there is such a thing as being overly cautious when it comes to COVID-19 safety.

Lexington Middle School told Sheila Gayle's eighth-grade daughter to quarantine for 10 days because of what they thought were COVID-19 symptoms. But, mom said, it's just "that time of the month."

Her daughter went back to school, but not before taking a trip to see her doctor after she reported feeling tired. The district required her to either quarantine until Oct. 23 or show proof that it wasn't COVID-19.

So, instead of dropping off her daughter at school Tuesday morning, Gayle had to visit to Physicians' Primary Care for a doctor's note saying her daughter's menstrual cycle caused the fatigue.

"This what it's come down to, so every month I have to come when she's on her, you know, cycle? It's just ridiculous at this point," she said.

Gayle said Monday afternoon, her daughter told the school nurse she had just started her cycle and felt tired. No fever. No body aches. Just tired.

"Just to have fatigue, because you're tired? That's unacceptable," Gayle said.

The nurse gave the student a form, indicating her fatigue could be related to COVID-19.

A representative for the School District of Lee County referred Fort Myers television station WFTX to its website, pointing out students can return to school sooner if a doctor proves symptoms are caused by something other than the coronavirus.

Gayle said she had two options. Either quarantine her daughter, which would also mean quarantine her siblings enrolled in other Lee County schools, or take time off work and get the doctor's note. She chose the latter, hoping she won't have to go through this again next month.

"I just feel like this whole system needs to be re-evaluated," Gayle said.

The district said as of now students are not required to quarantine if a sibling has COVID-19 related symptoms. Even though it may seem a bit extreme, the district said it would rather be safe than sorry.

This article was written by Rachel Loyd for WFTX.