Heritage Students Return From Uganda Mission Trip

RINGGOLD, GA (WDEF-TV) – Two Catoosa county students will return next week from a mission trip to Africa.
Although they were nowhere near the countries now struggling to control the ebola outbreak, it was enough to set social media on fire yesterday and today.
The outcry from parents continues, although the school district and health agencies are now assuring them there is no danger.

PASTOR MICHAEL KIRBY, MT. PISGAH BAPTIST CHURCH "You know we would never intentionally put any of our people or anybody else in harm’s way. "

Mount Pisgah church has been sending young people on mission trips to Africa for more than 10 years. Next week two young church members—a 13 year old girl student at Heritage Middle and a 15 year old girl who attends Heritage High School will return from Uganda.
They are planning to return to school immediately.

DENIA REECE, SUPERINTENDENT, CATOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS "We immediately contacted the CDC in Atlanta for guidance..also contacted Dr.Wade Sellers from public health..they have both assured me there are no current cases of ebola in Uganda."

But, despite assurances, some parents of Heritage students are not ready to take the word of the CDC, or the local health department.

SUMMER HENNESSEE, HERITAGE PARENT "I don’t want them to be susceptible to whenever they may pass through an airport and get ..Or other things like that is possible for them to bring home."

CHRYSTAL HEDRICK,HERITAGE PARENT "As a mom, you know its our job to protect our kids. And when we drop them off at school you want to feel like you can trust those people to keep your kids safe."

ASHLEY BRANDON, HERITAGE PARENT "Everybody has an opinion. And if they see it as no threat..fine! But as a mother I keep my guard up for my daughter..and I want my daughter safe as possible."

PASTOR MICHAEL KIRBY "…there’s nothing from the state department, nothing from the CDC..and if you were to contact them, they don’t have any concern about them being there."

DENIA REECE, SUPERINTENDENT "At this time there is no risk of students contracting ebola at Heritage high school…and any questions parents have, they can call here at central office."

The school girls were involved in food service work in Uganda, which is 3-thousand miles from the ebola stricken countries in west Africa.

Categories: Catoosa County, Health, Local News

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