Texas mom calls for increased COVID protocols at daughter's school after 11-year-old contracts virus

BUNA, Texas (KTRK) -- A Texas mom is urging her daughter's school district to boost its COVID-19 protocols as her 11-year-old daughter remains hospitalized after contracting the virus.

Terri Gurganious's daughter, Brennah Gurganious, attends school in Buna, Texas, just northeast of Beaumont.



She went back to school on Aug. 11, and a few days later, Terri said her daughter came home with a fever and was experiencing a headache, dizziness and nausea.

"I took her and got her tested and she tested positive," said the mom.

Terri said her daughter soon began having respiratory issues and was diagnosed with pneumonia at a local urgent care center. Days after, her breathing didn't improve and was sent to Texas Children's Hospital.

"Her lungs were going through hell," said Terri. "Her lungs looked really, really bad. It was nothing but, like, white cobwebs on the X-rays. Usually, when your lungs are clear, they're black and colored on X-rays. These were almost pure white."



According to the Buna Independent School District COVID tracker, as of Monday evening, 82 students and 14 staff members have tested positive for coronavirus.

Terri claims her daughter contracted the virus during her first week of school and wants the district to enforce more COVID safety rules.

"The school system has no mask mandates," she said. "No social distancing, they have nothing in place to keep our kids and staff safe."



Terri said the district did give students and staff the option to wear a face covering and said at one point, her children refused to wear a mask. She said on the day she believes Brennah contracted the virus, the girl was wearing a mask.

"I would like to see the schools closed now until things get under control," said Terri.

Buna ISD Superintendent Donny Lee told KBMT-TV in Beaumont that he agrees with the mom, but there are multiple reasons why the district cannot act on it yet.

"From our perspective, there's no other option," Lee said.

According to KBMT-TV, it would cost Buna ISD $6.5 million to fund virtual learning for the district.

Those funds will not be available until the Texas Legislature passes Senate Bill 15, which would allow Texas schools to receive money for virtual learning.
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