Attleboro Mayor Paul Theroux said the student was tested Sept. 9 and received a positive result two days later. Despite that, the student's parents still sent him or her to Attleboro High School for in-person classes Sept. 14.
Theroux said "bizarre is an understatement" for the situation.
"We've been in this for six months, and we're all in it together," Theroux said of the pandemic. "It's just an egregious violation of the rules to have done that. People by now know what the right thing to do is, as well as what the wrong thing to do is."
The school found out about the positive test Monday after the student already had attended school. Five other students at Attleboro High previously tested positive, but the school was aware of it and they quarantined at home.
A hybrid learning model is currently in place, where students alternate days of in-person classes and remote learning.
Superintendent of Public Schools David Sawyer said the situation has been frustrating for a community that has worked hard to open schools for in-person learning.
"The school community and the district as a whole is quite frustrated," Sawyer said. "Many people have been working tirelessly for some time to reopen the schools. To have this happen on the first day was devastating."
Sawyer said 29 students were ordered to quarantine after contact tracing was performed, and none has tested positive yet.
"This will be a true test of both the state’s guidelines and our plans for implementing them," Sawyer said.