A classmate has joined 3-year-old Johnny Bigley, an Anne Arundel County boy who suffers from herpes, in the preschool course he has been attending by himself since Jan. 7, school officials said yesterday.
Parents of other youngsters scheduled to attend the class at Pasadena Elementary School have been keeping them away because of the boy's affliction.
Pasadena Principal Phyllis Mentzell said a 4-year-old girl who had been kept out of school began attending the morning class this week.
"We were real happy," she said, but added that parents of four other children in the class have not said yet if they will do the same.
Brenda Evans, who has kept her son home, said she still believes the Bigley child should not be allowed to attend unless he is free from any active herpes sores. "We all have different reasons for what we're doing," Evans said of the parents.
The Bigley child suffers from periodic lesions caused by herpes, but it is not known what type of herpes he has. Because he has an unrelated speech problem, he attends a special class for children developmentally behind their ages.
The parents of other children in the class and the county teachers union had urged that the boy be prohibited from coming to school when he has active lesions. Under guidelines adopted Feb. 6 by the school board, however, the boy can attend if the lesions are covered and are not on his hands, head or neck.
The union has since and told the board it will not appeal the guidelines if they are clarified.