Mother upset son tested positive for TB, says school should have acted sooner

Mother upset son tested positive for TB, says school should have acted sooner

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County mother says she's concerned for other students after her child tested positive for tuberculosis.

Last month, the Gwinnett County school district confirmed an active case of TB at Discovery High School.

Tammy Batton now wants to know why her son wasn't tested sooner.

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"If they're telling me he needs additional testing, there's something wrong,” Batton said.

The mother told Channel 2's Alyssa Hyman that her 16-year-old son came home from school Monday with test results no parent wants to see.

"Did you get your test back? He said, 'Yeah.' He said it was positive. I said, 'Positive?' I said, 'I’m going to go up to the school. He said, 'No, no don't go up there. They said to call the health department,'” Batton said.

She shared a picture with Hyman of her son’s tuberculosis test results, which shows that he needs additional evaluation.

The results say they have 30 days to schedule a chest X-ray, as well.


"My son is very quiet. He could be sick now and I don't even know it,” Batton told Hyman.

While her son doesn't appear to have any symptoms of TB, she's worried and wants to know why he wasn’t tested sooner considering another student at his high school tested positive for an active case of TB in early March.

"My concern, I think they should have did everybody at one time instead of waiting so long to have him tested,” Batton said.

Initially, the health department only tested about 240 students and staff at the school. Out of an abundance of caution, the health department later decided to test everyone at Discovery High School.

A Gwinnett County School district official told Hyman the district does not handle the testing other than providing a location. The tests were done Friday and read Monday.

Battons' biggest concern: Has her son been contagious this entire time?

“That's what I’m saying. I could be walking around infected and don't even know it,” Batton said.

The health department said if her son hasn't had any symptoms, than he's not contagious, which is why he's allowed to still go to school.

It only means he may have been exposed to the infection at one point but may have never gotten sick.

It’s still important to get the extra tests. Anyone who didn’t get tested Friday should have been tested Monday. The district said those results will be read Wednesday.

Everyone else is required to be tested by April 19. If not, then those children will not be allowed at school.