MPS explains mold dilemma, votes for clean up

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Engineers say 45 year old equipment and air conditioning outages contributed to mold problems at Dozier Elementary School.@

The school system sent out a notice to parents in January, months after a teacher complained about breathing troubles.

Tuesday, superintendent Barbara Thompson said she signed a leave of absence for a teacher last August, unaware that the case was related to mold.

"I signed many of those. I think this one was asthma related to air quality," Thompson said.

Thompson says she didn't find out about the problem until January--long after other staffers, including Chief Operations Officer Clay Slagle and an HR representative.

"He was in conversations with Mr. Slagle on that one.  I was not involved directly in those conversations," Thompson explained.

At the school board meeting, members went back and forth on how to proceed, some questioning the $1.8 million price tag to clean 5 classrooms and the school's library.

"We just talked about budget cuts.. How are we going to pay for this," asked board member Melissa Snowden.

Parents told the board they've waited long enough for results.

"A comment was made that it was more a lack of communication than a serious health concern. Well, my child's three medications indicate to me that it's a serious health concern," said Ree Clark of Montgomery.

The school board approved the cleanup by a vote of 5 to 1.

With that approval, work should begin on the library over the weekend and end by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, educators say they'll keep kids in the building--but away from problem areas.

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