SUMRALL – With one of the problems facing Sumrall Elementary School being overcrowding, many other concerns hinder teachers and students each day.
Karen Loftin, a fifth-grade teacher, stuffs a steel wool sponge in a hole in her wall to keep rats from entering the building. She said she is sometimes reluctant to turn on her air conditioning because of the unit’s noise. Instead, students sit underneath a couple of old brown ceiling fans. “I would like to have better up-to-date classrooms,” she said.
Ramona Brumfield, a third-grade teacher, said the mold and mildew affects the children in her building, which is nearly 100 years old. She said she caught a glimpse of what was really in the air last Christmas. “I had left a bag hanging on the wall over the holiday,” Brumfield said. “When I came back, the bag was completely black.”
Brumfield’s problem isn’t just the mold, her classroom floor sinks. “It’s been jacked up twice,” she said.
At Sumrall High School, students place their backpacks outside in the hallway to allow for extra classroom space. “One of our problems is that we have teachers having to move from class to class because they don’t have a room,” said Diane Holland, an eighth-grade science teacher. “This lab is over 40 years old. I have electrical wires and water lines under each lab table together, she said.
Amanda Mauldin, an occupational diploma instructor, holds her classes in one of the school’s temporary trailers. “This is almost a fire hazard. I can’t even walk to the back of the class to answer questions,” she said as she showed how small her classroom space is.