Parent: Mold at Timberlawn Elementary - - Jackson, MS

Timberlawn Elementary School battles mold problem

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Elvante Seaton says the first letter regarding mold at Timberlawn Elementary School came home with his 6 year old daughter two weeks ago. Mold had been found in a classroom.

"And in that classroom, which was my daughter's classroom, they were gonna be moving her out of the class, now her class would be in the cafeteria or something like that," he says.

Seaton says two nights ago, his daughter, a first grader, began vomiting. Then on Tuesday, another letter was sent home. It states that elevated mold levels have been found in many classrooms at Timberlawn. The letter says measures have been taken to adjust the air conditioning so mold growth is not promoted. Parents are advised to dress their children for chillier classrooms. The letter states the district is working diligently to resolve the problem.

Seaton says the letter also came home with a permission sheet to enroll their daughter in a health check program at Jackson Public Schools, which includes a physical exam.

"They want to give the children physicals to check for what they're being contaminated with at the school. That was the letter I received. At that point it was a no-go," he says.

Seaton and his wife pulled their daughter out of Timberlawn and enrolled her in Pecan Park Elementary School. But he tells us he's been informed there's mold at Pecan Park as well.

"The principal (of Pecan Park) is a nice lady. She tells us it has been an ongoing problem with mold in the school," Seaton says. "Most people don't know about mold. People don't know what mold can do. Mold is very damaging. It has lifelong effects if you're exposed to it for too long."

Seaton says he's amazed the school district is allowing children to attend school amongst the mold, and he's weighing his options.

"I'm not gonna risk my child's life. I almost want to home school," he says.

Wednesday afternoon, 3 On Your Side spoke to Mitchell Shears, Executive Director of Academic Support for Elementary Schools at JPS. He says that the presence of mold has been recognized at Timberlawn. He says there have been some HVAC leaks, and moisture has been found in the air ducts, which may have contributed to the formation of the mold.

Shears says custodians are sealing leaks and cleaning each day, and testing is being performed regularly. He says there is no immediate health risk to the students or staff members.

In addition, Shears tells us that the health screening enrollment sheet sent home with one of the letters is not related to the mold problem. He says the enrollment sheet is sent home yearly, and this year it happened to coincide with the mold problem.

Shears tells us he is not aware of a mold issue at Pecan Park Elementary School.

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