Richmond parents and teachers raise concerns about mold in schools
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A few weeks into the new school year, teachers and parents are raising concerns about mold in some of Richmond’s public schools.
”There is visible mold growth on ceiling tiles throughout the building, and it is getting worse by the day,” Emily Turner, a teacher at Clarks Spring Elementary, said to the school board Monday night.
Turner was just one of many concerned about the conditions some school buildings are in for the division.
She told the board moisture caused mold to appear on ceiling tiles in her classroom, on a bookshelf, and even on new books paid for through the Fox fund.
Turner said she and some of her colleagues are physically feeling the effects.
“Upper respiratory symptoms ranging from itchy eyes to sore throat, headache, persistent cough, all of which are consistent with extended and ongoing mold exposure,” Turner said. “Students are experiencing similar symptoms.”
One parent told the school board Monday night that mold could be found on desks and lockers at Boushall Middle School.
She said her student had even brought the mold back home.
“I have a jacket of his that I can’t even get it out of,” the parent said. “I didn’t know that’s what it was until the teacher said oh, Ms. Williams, he rubbed up against the desk.”
Speakers encouraged the school board to use the remaining American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to fix these issues and do school air quality testing
ASchool board member Kenya Gibson later introduced a similar motion
”I move that the school board recognize the health concerns brought forward by teachers and staff and explore using remaining ARP funds to address critical building issues,” Gibson said
The motion did not move forward after Kamras explained he was aware of the issues and was creating a plan to address the problem.
“Already, as I think some of the commentators noted, ordered tests for everywhere that we have heard of any issues,” Kamras said. “As soon as we have those results, we’ll share them with everybody involved and take whatever remediation steps are necessary.”
NBC12 reached out to the school division on testing done in schools.
A spokesperson said three schools have been tested this school year, but no school has shown high enough mold levels for remediation.
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