West Milford mom wants virtual learning option for immunosuppressed students

A West Milford mother is pleading for a virtual learning option for her son who is immunosuppressed.
Students from across New Jersey went back to in-person learning this year. Some districts only offered a virtual option when there were outbreaks of COVID-19. But Mary Omealy says that this was not an option for her son.
Mary’s 17-year-old son Josh is a senior at West Milford Township High School. He has had multiple organ transplants, making him immunosuppressed. When it comes to communicable diseases that are on the rise, it is best for Josh to stay home.
“Just a simple cold could possibly become pneumonia, organ rejection, gastro – anything. It’s life-threatening,” he says.
Josh has had several surgeries since birth, and right now, when there are elevated threats to his immune system, like during flu season, Josh and his mom want an option for him to take classes virtually.
“We have the capabilities of doing this. Why aren’t we doing this?” Mary asks.
West Milford Township is only offering a virtual option to students if it is COVID-19-related. But the Omealys want the same option for all communicable diseases, especially for those with compromised immune systems.
“I just want virtual learning to be easier. Not just for me, but for others, because I know the stress behind it and I know the isolation behind it,” says Josh.
A representative from the West Milford School District did not return a request for comment. But the Omealys did share with News 12 New Jersey daily emails the district sends to parents alerting them to COVDI-19 cases. And with cases of the virus rising in the town, and with flu season just a few weeks away, Josh will have to stay home.
He says that it is frustrating because he feels like he isn’t’ learning anything and has to self-teach himself by watching online videos.