St. James Elementary School parents on mold concerns: ‘We’re not going away’

St. James Elementary School parents on mold concerns: ’We’re not going away’

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The South Strand Recreation Center was filled with St. James Elementary School parents Wednesday night who talked about mold concerns and made sure they all knew what their next steps are moving forward.

The school identified 23 areas earlier this month that were in need of cleaning. Those areas were treated last weekend. But since then, parents have been concerned about their children’s health at the school.

A petition was put at the entrance of the meeting for attendees to sign.

Parent Stefeny Wackerly said the petition outlines the action steps they want to see moving forward, including allowing the parents to have some say in what company comes in to do testing in the future.

Past coverage on St. James Elementary School mold concerns:

Some of the frustration has to do with feeling like some questions are being left unanswered.

Parents at the meeting said they invited members of the Horry County School District to the meeting, but they were disappointed to find no one from the district showed up.

Horry County School Board Chair Ken Richardson said he is out of town, but that he visited St. James Elementary School Tuesday.

“It’s not going to go away until you fix it,” said parent Jared Smith.

Parents in the audience were encouraged and given the chance to speak at the meeting.

Parents concerned over mold issues at St. James Elementary School (WMBF)
Parents concerned over mold issues at St. James Elementary School (WMBF)

One parent brought up how she thinks there should be a longer period of time between cleaning and the next time their child is seated in the classroom. Other parents mentioned wanting the school to be closed for a longer time for cleaning, but some parents worry their kids can’t afford that.

“I don’t think it’s feasible right now, unless you’re going to do it for spring break but our spring break is not until April,” said Cindy Verplancken.

Parents also wanted a key takeaway to be to spread awareness for issues that could arise in other schools.

Some parents said they plan to attend the next Horry County School Board meeting and are hoping to get others there in large numbers so their voices will be heard.

The district said a re-test was conducted over the weekend and they expect to have the results sometime next week. A spokesperson said they will develop an action plan if necessary.

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