For months parents have complained about the air quality at Mt. Juliet Elementary Now tests confirm their suspicions: the school has a major mold problem. Behind the 60-year-old brick walls of Mt. Juliet Elementary is a world of worries for parents.
Mold in School Making Students Sick
What’s in the building along with students and teachers is mold, and some say it’s making kids sick. “Lots of sickness. We have a lot of sick children and I think it’s a major concern for parents. Doctors bills, children missing all the time, the teachers have to work in it and deal with it”, said Tonya Bowers, a Mt. Juliet Elementary parent. Parents demanded the school be tested for mold especially after several children became sick.
Student Hospitalized Due to Sickness Due to Mold in School
“One of them was hospitalized for 4 days at UMC and the other 2 were so allergic and so sick, that their doctors recommended they be removed from the school”, said Karen Tillman, another Mt. Juliet Elementary parent. “My kid that’s in the first grade, she’s always sick, but the other one’s okay. But I don’t know if it’s from here or just the conditions”, said Mark LaGrone another Mt. Juliet Elementary parent. The school system is trying to fix the problem. Tests were run earlier this week confirming 3 of 12 areas tested needed to be closed off until they’re thoroughly cleaned: two classrooms and a bathroom. School officials vow the school is not a safety threat.
Mickey Hall, of Wilson County Schools said, “According to the testing company, no. We have some issues on cleaning. We’re currently evaluating what our cleaning staff have done.” The school has added more cleaning crews, and workers are putting a fresh coat of paint on the boiler room walls and pipes. But some say it’s not enough. “From what I heard, I don’t know if they can clean it good enough to solve all the problems of the mold”, said parent Joan Richmond.
Neighborhood Wants New School
Mold is just one reason why parents are upset here at MJE. They’re also concerned about that outdoor hallway that links two buildings. Students and teachers have to cross between the buildings all day long. And then there’s the future widening of Mt. Juliet Road in front of the school. All reasons why parents and school officials are hoping these blueprints for a new school get the go-ahead, and fast.
Another mold test will be conducted at the end of this month to see if the cleaning worked. The county is expected to vote in February on building a new elementary school.