STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (CBS46) — Confused and frightened parents descended on Stephenson Middle School to pick up their children after learning about a mold problem inside the school.
An email from the school, sent out Thursday night, said several HVAC issues were being addressed, and that students would be moved to a more conducive learning environment. Some were taken to the high school up the road while other parents told CBS46 kids were doing nothing and waiting around in the gym and cafeteria.
But a source with the Dekalb County school district tells CBS46 the school has a major mold problem, and sent in several pictures showing the mold from inside the school.
#exclusive “This is scary and really unacceptable!” Parents at Stephenson Middle School in #Dekalb County reacting to the news the school has a major mold problem. Many parents raced to get their students out of the moldy situation. Full Details @cbs46 #Atlanta #BacktoSchool2021 pic.twitter.com/oNNhFouAzD
— Jamie S Kennedy (@Jamie_S_Kennedy) September 3, 2021
Parents we spoke to Friday confirmed the issue.
“Today we’re being told that it was mold at the school so everyone has to pick up their children,” said Natalie Lee, who has four kids at Stephenson Middle School.
Students said they were told to stay away from certain areas.
“One of the assistant principals told us not to use some hallways and we couldn’t walk through areas regularly because there was mold,” Lee’s son said.
Parents were extremely upset the school didn’t warn them before dropping their kids off.
“It was very alarming at the fact that we didn’t even get a call from the school. The students had to reach out to us, like my kids had to call and say come pick us up. It’s scary [because] with COIVD, now with the mold, it’s really scary,” Lee said.
The school district source said a number of teachers and students have been calling out sick with headaches and coughs. Multiple parents told CBS46 the same thing.
“He said he had a headache and I didn’t know why,” said a parent. “He said other kids were getting sick, but of course, I thought it was because of COVID. I wasn’t aware of the mold situation.”
CBS46 contacted the school district about the mold situation and they responded by saying the district’s operations team is addressing HVAC issues in certain areas at Stephenson Middle School.
Parents said that just isn’t good enough.
“You’re communicating about an HVAC issue but it really might not be the truth. At this point if kids are going home with headaches, again I wasn’t aware of that, so it’s very disappointing at this point. I find it extremely disappointing,” Lee said.
Parents are unsure what will happen next week when kids are supposed to be back in classes.