Suburban high school goes remote following COVID-19 outbreak

A 14-day quarantine period at Rich Township High School District 227 starts Monday, school officials announced Thursday after "at least two students" tested positive for COVID-19.  

During the quarantine, students will learn remotely. 

This outbreak comes amid what's been widely described as a chaotic, dysfunctional school year at Rich Township.

"The whole situation down here, it's a little scary, really," said Dominique Coleman, whose son is a junior.  

Ever since District 227 closed Rich East High School to consolidate, parents and students say the STEM campus building is way overcrowded.

"It's just too many people," said junior Elijah Mazzarri.

MORE: Sheer chaos: Suburban high school dealing with student fights, packed classrooms, bus shortage

"The buses are overcrowded, they don't have proper ventilation," said Elijah's mother, Porscha.

"We be standing up on the bus, there be too many people," another student told FOX 32. 

Another student said the lunch line in the cafeteria is so long "it looks like a Six Flags line."


Students describe the school day as something of a free-for-all, with little supervision and the ability to skip class whenever they want. 

"These kids are being able to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it, and it's not the way that school should be," said Dominique Coleman, whose son is a junior.

"My son has 49 absences and yet he's in the building every day," said Porscha Mazzarri. "How? How?"

On top of all this: a COVID outbreak, which parents of football players were told originated on the team and that their sons needed to be tested Thursday morning.

Thursday night, Coleman and Mazzarri voiced frustration with how those tests were carried out. 

Their sons told them no one on the team social distanced, and one student believed to have tested positive went to play basketball in the gym.

District 227 issued a statement, saying in part, "Per our COVID-19 protocols we were notified of individuals who tested positive on September 29, 2021.  Due to protocols already in place, we were able to immediately identify those potentially impacted."

The high school building is now closed for deep-cleaning. 

Presuming the outbreak doesn't get worse, Rich Township says it will resume in-person learning on Monday, Oct. 18.