Dunsmuir Elementary School students started winter break a day early this year when school was cancelled Thursday because of a widespread illness.

Teachers and other students reported many kids throwing up.

“I saw three go home before noon,” said Will Newman, who helps around the school. His wife, Linda Guzman, a teacher's aide, said, “I'd say there were 60% of the kids absent in all classes.” She said four teachers were out too.

Third grade teacher Susan Anro said she saw seven students leave her class sick Tuesday. “And two kids got sick on their way to school,” she said. “The poor office was jammed, with a couple of kids from each class.”

After school, she scrubbed her students' desk with bleach. “I felt fine when I got home that night, until 7:00. She said the next six hours she suffered from what she called an intestinal virus, exclaiming, “It was horrendous!”

Anro said she wanted the public to know the cause of the illness was not the cafeteria. “I had kids who never eat in the cafeteria get sick.”