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Manhattan School Combats Flu Fears

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While health and city officials say that there is no risk of swine flu in Manhattan's Ascension School, after several students went home sick yesterday, parents have been keeping their children home from school.

The New York Archdiocese says the school on West 108th Street is safe for teachers and students.

Over the weekend a student became sick and was diagnosed with seasonal flu. Six other students were sent home yesterday, but none had swine flu.

Some parents pulled their kids out of class as a precaution, even though school officials say the building is safe.

"I decided to take her home because of the 21 kids in her class, there are only three or four there. I think the parents took them home," said Clotilde Aponte, a student's grandmother.

Other families remained calm and let their children go to school.

"The concern is there, but just stay calm and don't panic and follow instructions," said Joseph Ravich, a student's grandfather.

"My kids are going to school, so far there is nothing confirmed, if there was a concern, I would not bring my kids to school," said parent Nora Velazquez.

"I think it's unfair to the students, but if that's what parents want to do, that's their right," said the Reverend John Duffell of Ascension School. "I think hopefully people will hear and there will be level heads and things will calm down."

The archdiocese says they will not close the school unless there is a confirmed case of the illness.

The city health department sent a doctor to the school today to monitor any flu-like symptoms among students.

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