HINGHAM (CBS) – Hingham mother Melissa Proia said she’s appalled her 5-year-old daughter was given a COVID test this week at her Hingham elementary school without her consent.
The test is being given under state guidance, but Hingham parents have been told it’s voluntary and they can opt-out. “If I felt my kids needed to be tested for COVID, I’d go straight to the doctor. Then, I can be there with them and let the doctor do the testing,” said Proia.READ MORE: Ames Nowell State Park In Abington Closes As Search For Missing Elijah Lewis Continues
She doesn’t believe school is the right setting for testing children and said it was an upsetting experience for her daughter. “Anything medical-related is scary for kids, especially a 5-year-old. She just got the flu shot and was a mess, and I was there to help her through it.”
Both the principal and the superintendent have apologized to the family. The superintendent said the young girl’s name was inadvertently placed on the wrong testing list by the principal, a mistake he’s working to prevent in the future.
“They were very apologetic, and it was heartfelt, but I don’t think an apology is enough,” said Proia. She’s filed a complaint with the state and is looking for changes to the system, including someone other than school administrators overseeing lists.READ MORE: Early Voting Begins In Boston For Mayoral Election
Parent Yonca Ural believes COVID protocols on top of day-to-day learning has been overwhelming for schools.
“I think all of this is new for the school and a lot to deal with. I think they’re being as cautious as possible.”
Parent Catie O’Leary said she understands the frustration. “There’s so much anxiety with kids in regards to COVID. School is a safe place for them.”
Melissa Proia said she’s now trying to explain “consent” to a young child. “She didn’t even know she had the opportunity to say no. She didn’t have her Mom to look to for advice.”MORE NEWS: 4 Your Community: DAV Department Of Massachusetts
Her advice, she said, is for other parents to take note of her experience.