Concern grows among parents over South Gate teacher's meningitis death

SOUTH GATE, Calif. (KABC) -- Concern was growing among parents of a South Gate elementary school on Monday after a teacher died from bacterial meningitis.

School and health officials held a morning meeting at Montara Avenue Elementary School to reassure families as they worked to identify those who came into contact with the teacher.

Parents at the meeting were demanding more information after the death of third grade teacher Ramona Gedney. Parents claim she was sick for two to three weeks before her death last Monday. She was suffering from flu-like symptoms, later determined to be bacterial meningitis.

Mireya Garcia and Eloy Arvallo's daughter was in Gedney's class.

"We all know she didn't know she had the disease, but unfortunately she had flu symptoms and she died from it. We are all worried and scared for our children," Arvallo explained.

Parents said it wasn't until Friday night that their children were given antibiotics, administered by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Garcia said her daughter is old enough to understand, and she cried to her, asking if she was going to die.

The L.A. Unified School District released a statement Monday morning saying, "Public health is taking appropriate measures to identify and protect those who may have come in contact with our employee."

Many parents said that wasn't enough. Several were asking the school district to provide treatment for all students, not just some. With the weather these last few weeks, most students in the school were together in the cafeteria on rainy days, parents at the school shared.

"...That's a concern to me because what would happen if one child dies?" Arvallo added. "Who is going to be liable for that?"
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