THERE'S a leaky roof and mold on the walls at South Charleston Middle School that at least one student suspects is causing her health problems.
Parents of several of the school's students came out in force to the Kanawha County Board of Education meeting Thursday to demand that action be taken.
As reported by the Daily Mail's Shay Maunz, 7th grade student Sarah Providenti said she's been sick every day since the first day of school. Repeated trips to the doctor and allergy testing finally found a cause - mold.
"Lately, I've been avoiding going to the bathroom at school," she said. "Because the mold is so bad in there and I cough so much.
Parent David Haden, whose son is in 7th grade, said he brought issues about the condition of the school to the board last year and was disappointed more action hadn't been taken.
"You are failing the students and failing your employees," he said. "They are in a dangerous environment and you knew about this last year."
This isn't nearly the first time the issue of mold and poor maintenance at a Kanawha County school have reached board level.
Superintendent Ron Duerring asked for patience, explaining that steps are underway to address the issues. An environmental crew is scheduled to be at the 87-year old school building today and a project to replace the roof is already out to bid.
The school board said it will address the issue further at its next regular board meeting in October, after an environmental study has been completed.
For goodness sakes! Why are seemingly simple maintenance issues at Kanawha County schools allowed to get so bad that they fester into health problems and reach the level of a board crisis?
One would think that an organization responsible for housing 28,000 children many days of the year in a collection of 68 buildings would have a quality maintenance program, with a trained staff assigned and held accountable for regularly cleaning, inspecting and repairing the things that need attention.
Surely there are many staff members who do their job well. But allowing these problems to get to board level means there is a drop off in accountability somewhere. That needs corrected.
Our students and school staffs deserve clean, healthy and safe schools.