L.I. Elementary School Shocked By Kindergartener’s Flu Death

NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) — A flu scare has hit Long Island following the sudden death of an an elementary school student on Friday.

A 5-year-old girl in kindergarten at the Centre Avenue Elementary School in East Rockaway died from what health officials believe was the flu.

“It’s terrible. I can’t even imagine,” parent Lori Pareti told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

Sources said the child’s health may have been otherwise compromised when she contracted the flu.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports from Long Island

Principal Timothy Silk said school officials were “very upset,” but added they were trying to keep the day “as normal as possible.”

Psychologists and social workers were on hand Monday as parents tried to deal with the almost incredible news.

Danita Peletiere’s daughter was friends with the little girl who passed away. She called the child’s death “unimaginable for any parent.”

“It’s the most horrible thing anybody could ever imagine happen,” she said.

Health officials said there was no increased risk for fellow students the school.

“We have no reason to believe that the children are at any more risk than they would be just because it’s flu season,” Nassau County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein said.

“We are very upset with what happened to our school building today and it’s going to take a long time to recover,” Silk said.

More from John Slattery
  • carol

    I leave right near the school and see all the kids passing by my house.
    Our Prayers go to this childs family.

  • C.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to this family. Certain comments are not even worth answering back due to the complete ignorance of some posters. May the angel be resting in peace and may her family find comfort during this horrible ordeal.

  • J Former East Rockaway Resident

    I can’t believe the ignorance of certain comments on here. I guess some people don’t know that when given the flu vaccination, you are actually given a strain of the flu itself. So my question is, what if the mother did have the child vaccinated and that is how this happened? Should the doctor or the FDA then be charged?

    People do not have the right to pass judgement when they don’t know the facts. People need to understand that a family is grieving the loss of a child. East Rockaway is a small town and the entire town grieves with them.

    If you don’t know the facts or the family, you don’t have the right to comment. I am a former East rockaway resident and know. Instead of offering your unfounded insight, why don’t you just offer your prayers and be on your way!

  • Lieutenantdan

    I wonder if the kid’s mother had the child vaccinated for the flew, if not I think that she should face criminal charges.

  • drew

    Please take the high road, and do not make any hurtful remarks. This is nothing but a loving, hard-working family suffering a tragedy.

    • East Rockaway Resident

      Learn how to correctly spell FLU, and then go to law school to understand what qualifies for criminal charges, and then go to church and ask God for forgiveness for even saying such a disrespectful thing.

      • Watertown New York resident

        Well said! Bless this little girl and pray for her family and friends in their time of grief.

  • Matt

    What tuition fees? It is my understanding this happened at a public school.

  • whitegraypoppy

    Americans are shocked about things that happen everyday in third world countries. You got a seatmate in class you play with everyday and suddenly she’s gone cause mother can’t afford rising cost of tuition fees or she has to help the family earn in the streets. This ain’t physical death, but moral, emotional and spiritual combined.

    • Lynbrook Mom

      This has nothing to do with affordability of tuition. Centre Avenue is a public school. The family is good and hard working and well known in the community. Earning in the streets? What do you think this is? The Point? It is a tragedy. Plain and simple. Go within and pray for healing for yourself and your family.

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