George Co. school closed after test reveals elevated mold spore - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

George Co. school closed after test reveals elevated mold spore levels

Touchard says she took the initiative to close the school as a safety measure. (Photo source: Brandon Thaggard) Touchard says she took the initiative to close the school as a safety measure. (Photo source: Brandon Thaggard)
GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

The welcome back ceremony at L.C. Hatcher Elementary School in Lucedale will have to wait.

The district has closed the school until at least Aug. 15 while officials clean up the school from what angry parents have claimed is mold. The complaints eventually led Superintendent Pam Touchard to have the rooms tested on Aug. 1.

“The spores were elevated in some of the classrooms,” Touchard said. “We’re not going to take a chance and put our kids in danger. So, we’re going to clean these classrooms, replace those tiles, and get that school ready for those kids.”

Touchard says the problem was limited to just one classroom building in the school, and the company never suggested the school be closed.

“They didn’t tell me that; I’m saying that. That levels are elevated and I am not sending children into that classroom. They did not tell me that. I am taking that upon myself," added the superintendent. 

On Monday, 300 K-3 students will be sent to two other schools in the district until the work is finished.

When the problem first came to light about three weeks ago, parents were upset. But now that the district is doing what it needs to do to make this school safe for both teachers and students, parents say they’re happy; even though there is a small distraction.

PTO president Joy Herndon went to the school as a child.

“In all honesty, a lot of issues are not addressed up to parental standards,” Herndon said. “So this issue - it doesn’t really matter who initiated it - it has been addressed and it’s being fixed.

Touchard says two companies out of Mobile will be working on the project. One will do the cleanup and another will do the environmental testing once the cleaning is done. 

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