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Air samples taken at Allentown Elementary due to mold concerns

(IMAGE: WPMI) Investigating mold in a Mobile County classroom

NBC 15 News is investigating mold concerns at a local elementary school. Air samples were taken inside a portable classroom at Allentown Elementary School Tuesday. This after an outraged parent, who says he’s been getting the run around for months, made a public plea for help. NBC 15's Andrea Ramey shares his story.

We don’t have pictures of mold from inside the rusty portables.

“He started having sinus problems that he’s never had before,” said Josh Carpenter.

What we do have is a determined dad, worried his 5th grader is getting sick from exposure to mold at school.

“He said the ceiling has black stuff on it. I showed him pictures of mold, and he said it looks like that,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter says after months of calls and promises the issue would be investigated and fixed, he became fed up and wrote this Facebook post Sunday outlining his concerns. It’s been shared more than 700 times.

“I talked to two parents Sunday night when I made the post. One of them this year has chronic nose bleeds and another one gets migraines and hasn’t had them until this year,” said Carpenter.

We spoke with one of those parents on the phone who verified her child is getting sick this year and she’s concerned its due to mold.

“We’re always concerned when we hear multiple reports of problems,” said MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek.

Peek says she became aware of the issue this week and today had an air sample test done. Peek says in December, maintenance crews removed panels in the classroom and found no evidence of mold.

“At Christmas time, there wasn’t any indication that they saw mold, but we didn’t do an air quality test at that time. I can understand the parents concern about that and that’s why we ordered the air quality test to be done today,” said Peek.

“Should one have been done in December?” asked NBC 15’s Andrea Ramey.

“I think that in good faith, I think the maintenance department didn’t see any evidence of it so they didn’t think that next step was necessary,” Peek replied.

“It’s been horrible. I feel helpless. It’s like I’m sending him to a place that’s going to make him sick,” said Carpenter.

It will take between 5-7 days to get the results of the air samples. We will be following up and let you know what school officials found. For now, the kids will remain in the portables.


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