AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Several parents pulled their children from a Richmond County Head Start after concerns that their sick kids had been exposed to mold. Now, they want answers.
Even though the weather is changing, parents at the CSRA EOA, Inc. South Richmond Head Start on Deans Bridge Road said the runny noses and wheezing their kids have are directly connected to mold in school.
Those parents and even a former teacher are outraged pulling their kids out of school and circulating a petition demanding results to a recent air quality test.
Jasmene Delaney enrolled her 3-year-old daughter last August and she’s withholding her until she knows more.
“It has been told that there has been mold in the school,” she said.
An advocate on the inside, former teacher’s assistant Catherine Jones shared photos with parents and NewsChannel 6. In them is what looks like mold on walls, ceilings and inside classrooms.
“All the children here have been sick. Nose running, congested, coughing,” said Catherin Jones, a former Teacher’s Assistant at South Richmond Head Start.
“I have severe allergies so I started getting ill a lot. She’s getting sick a lot,” Amber McLaughlin said of herself and her 3-year-old.
Operations Manager Bill Mills told us his supervisor told him parents had mold concerns. That’s when the school ordered an air quality sample, a four hour process Mills said took place Monday, October 9th.
He added, “…Contact the parents on Thursday because we wanted to be closed on Friday because that’s when he wanted to start the work.”
While parents did receive a letter stating doors to the school would close on Friday, October 20th and reopen Monday, they claim they still have not received the results of the test. Jones even took her own sample for a personal test. She says it came back with five different types of mold. But Augusta Mold Control and Removal’s owner told NewsChannel 6 two tests are needed for accuracy and his first test showed mold in the daycare.
“We didn’t quite meet the standard for elevated conditions so we couldn’t call it a mold remediation. But we did offer to clean it and clear the ducts,” John Ashton said.
Our cameras caught the school getting an outdoor pressure wash. And Mills told us parents will be notified as soon as the post air quality test results are in.
Jones said, “I’m at the point where if I don’t speak up for these children who else gone do it.”
Mills admitted this is the first deep clean done in classrooms. But moving forward, he plans to do it twice a year.