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Illness outbreak promotes closure of Kemper Academy

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Jan. 18, 2001
DEKALB The temporary loss of almost a third of its students and a number of teachers to illness has prompted Kemper Academy Headmaster Pete McCleskey to close the school's doors until Monday.
Harpole said at last count yesterday, 90 of the school's 289 students were out sick. He doesn't know how long they've been out.
Besides being hard to find, substitutes cost the school additional money.
He said Kemper Academy, located on Highway 16, also serves children in surrounding counties, such as Noxubee, Lauderdale, Neshoba and Sumter in Alabama.
If students and teachers are still out when school reopens Monday, Harpole said it will be left up to McCleskey as to whether to close the school again.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at