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Oakdale School District: Student’s Death Not from Contagious Illness

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OAKDALE-

A phone message Friday alerting parents in Oakdale of a student’s death has parents worried.

While the Oakdale Joint Unified School District claimed the tragedy was not caused by a contagious illness, parents told FOX40 the mystery surrounding that 6th grader’s death has left them asking the district for more clear answers.

The school district said due to privacy laws they can’t reveal much but we do know the child was from Magnolia Elementary School.

“A 6th grade student at Magnolia Elementary School passed away from an illness last night,” this is part of the message Oakdale parents heard Friday morning.

It’s heartbreaking news for the Oakdale Joint Unified School District prompting parents to check in with their kids throughout the day and alarming some who want more clear answers surrounding the child’s death.

“They’re not giving us the comfort of knowing that our kids are safe,” Jody Leandro, a parent whose child attends Magnolia Elementary School said.

“The way it was kind of left, left me to believe that maybe they had information they didn’t want to release,” another parent who did not wish to be identified said.

The district told FOX40 in a statement that they “will be respecting the privacy rights of the family and adhere to medical confidentiality laws regarding the cause of death.”

“It’s just kind of worrisome. I don’t really know what’s going on,” Leandro said.

But parents like Leandro added, in light of a recent measles outbreak in California, she doesn’t want to pry into the grieving family’s lives but she just wants to know if her son who has undergone kidney surgery is safe.

“I understand privacy and stuff. I have a child that has health concerns but that’s stuff that you alert your school of what’s going on,” she said.

Other parents explain they understand what the district can release.

“The message was pretty clear, it let us know that there was nothing was due to an illness but nothing contagious so I appreciate adding that,” Carrie White, a parent at Magnolia Elementary School explained.

Oakdale educators explained that they want to dispel any rumors about the death and  “there is no indication at this time that there is a concern of a contagious disease.”

“To honor the family’s privacy, no further information will be provided at this time,” the school district elaborated in their message.

“I understand for the child’s safety or the family’s privacy they don’t really want to give that out but I think a little bit information needs to be given to the parents,” a parent said.

While the mystery surrounding the student’s death remained,  a community grieved and parents held onto their kids a little tighter.

“My heart goes out to the parents, you know, it’s a child. And my world would literally come to an end if something happened to my kid,” Leandro explained.

The school district said they will have grief counselors available.