Granville Parent Claims Mold In School Making Daughter Sick
Posted September 9, 2003 4:16 a.m. EDT
GRANVILLE COUNTY, N.C. — Granville County school officials say mold found at school campuses will not hurt students, but one parent thinks they need a health lesson.
Tamatha Davis says school is making her daughter sick, literally. Hayley, 8, has asthma. Her symptoms kicked in when the school year started at Creedmoor Elementary. Davis said she did not have to look far to find the problem. Photos of Hayley's classroom show mold growing on desks, sinks, bookshelves and under the lunch table.
Hayley's doctors claim the mold is making her condition worse, but Tamatha Davis was even more upset when school officials told her the mold was harmless.
"What they don't see is when she goes to sleep at night, she's breathing so heavy and coughing, I have to sleep with her to make sure I don't have to give her asthma medication," she said.
Superintendent Tom Williams told WRAL the school system is working on the mold problem and allowed WRAL into Hayley's classroom to prove it.
"We've been working with an industrial hygienist to sample the mold, verify what type of mold it is, make sure that it is not a hazardous kind of mold and take their recommendations in terms of the standard protocol for cleaning the mold," he said.
The classroom was clean, but the source of the mold -- dripping pipes that create humidity -- is still a problem. Janitors will continue to scrub the pipes while the school system works on a permanent fix.
Granville County school officials say they are having mold problems at four different campuses -- three elementary schools and one middle school.
It is not the first time mold has turned up in a Granville County school. Last year, mold was found in Wilton Elementary School in the media center.
The mold was caused by rain seeping through an exterior door. Maintenance crews cleaned the floor, books and furniture with special equipment. The center's air system, though separate from the rest of the school, was also cleaned.
Two years ago, tests found unhealthy levels of mold in the rooms at Hunter Elementary School in Wake County. Teachers and students had been complaining for months about respiratory problems. They met in a different part of the school while the classrooms were cleaned.