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Leon County Schools responds to allegations about lack of "transparency" in reporting district COVID-19 cases

Leon County Schools
Posted at 12:07 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 18:09:26-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — After being accused by an ousted Florida of Department of Health data analyst of not reporting district-wide COVID-19 cases in a "timely" manner and lacking transparency in reporting, Leon County Schools posted a response on Twitter to set the record straight.

On Nov. 14, Rebekah Jones, who was removed from her position in May, took to Twitter to address the COVID-19 cases at Leon County Schools.

She claimed that a case was confirmed at her child's school days ago and said that it still hadn't appeared on the county's dashboard. Jones also accused the district of "harassing" the assistant principal of her son's school.

Monday morning, the district responded to Jones' allegations saying, "We feel the need to correct some of the misrepresentations in these Tweets."

In it, the district denied any allegations of harassment and explained that the case would be added to the dashboard Monday, saying in part, "We pride ourselves in transparency and accuracy and felt the need to address this issue once and for all."

"First, you have previously identified which school your children attend there was no research or searching down the school," the district wrote in the statement. "Second, after your first tweet a while back we reached out to the school to ensure that proper communication was being sent out to parents and asked the principal to follow up as we would with any parental concerns--there was no herassment (sic). Third, in this specific instance the school emailed out at noon on Friday, Nov. 13 about a positive case. We typically update our dashboard once per day at 4pm. On Friday we updated the dashboard at 11am due to a staff issue. Any cases reported after the dashboard gets updated is always reported the following day. In this instance, that would be today and this case will be noted. We pride ourselves in transparency and accuracy and felt the need to address this issue once and for all."

This is not the first time someone has taken issue with the district's reporting of COVID-19 cases.

LCS began tracking COVID-19 cases around the district back in early September in the form of daily updates on it's COVID-19 dashboard. Not long after the release of that dashboard however, a local group put together their own tracking spreadsheet, pointing out "discrepancies" in the LCS data.

When ABC 27 reached out to LCS back in September, Superintendent Rocky Hanna said,"There are no discrepancies and I'll challenge anybody in the community. I have nothing to hide. We have nothing to hide. No reason to hide anything."