Parents address frustration over Marion County school remaining closed after Florence

Parents upset Marion County school still closed

MARION, SC (WMBF) - A group of parents in Marion voiced their growing concerns to the Marion County School Board Tuesday night regarding Britton’s Neck Elementary.

The school is the only one in the area still closed after Hurricane Florence hit over three months ago.

During their November meeting, the school district made the decision to keep the school closed for the rest of the 2018-2019 school year.

A letter sent to parents cited safety issues and the impact of moving students again in the middle of the school year.

When WMBF News reached out to the school district last month, members said the results of air quality and other tests were under review to determine the best plan for the safety of the students. The tests were conducted inside the school on Oct. 23 and Oct. 31.

In one of the lab results from ABS Environmental, an asbestos removal company, they found evidence of mold growth in the media center and gym.

“This can’t be just a 2018-2019 decision because it goes further than that and this is our children’s education that we’re dealing with, so I want to know long term what is their plan,” parent Laura Holden said.

“It has been very emotional for a lot of parents, as well as myself,” Bonatia Self said.

Self’s son attends the school, now split between Easterling Primary School and Marion Intermediate. She echoed the same sentiments as the parents who spoke.

“They’re scared to go to school there. We feel like our children haven’t been treated fairly and taken out of their comfort zone,” Self said.

She said she came to Tuesday’s meeting to find out what officials are doing to get students back inside their home school.

“They constantly keep saying, ‘Well, we’ll bring these people in, we’re bringing these people in,’ but they’re not giving us any feedback as to what exactly they’re doing,” Self said.

After the comments, board members pointed out it's normal procedure to review the parent's comment and reply to the people who spoke individually.

Self admitted it wasn’t the answer she was looking for, but said she and other parents hope to get one soon and it’s one that will help get things back to normal.

“We feel like our kids are lacking, you know, as far as education getting the best of ... basically the bottom of the barrel,” Self said.

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