HUGO, OK -- A school district is working to remove potentially harmful mold from its elementary school. Administrators in Hugo say they are doing everything they can, but some parents say the mold is keeping their kids from school.
Superintendent Tony Daugherty says there have been no reports of black mold the most dangerous kind. They have found a kind that could harm the bronchial areas.
Parents and officials agree they want it fixed soon. The dried mold covers walls underneath the vinyl wall coverings at the elementary school. School administrators say they noticed mold some of the carpet when they returned this summer. After running some tests realized the mold all over the walls in this pod of about seven classrooms on end of the school.
Officials say the school has flooded at least twice since opening in 1989. Combine that with a wet summer and poor circulation, you get mold.
"You try and cut back running on your air conditioners and mold generates where there's areas with no circulation," Daugherty says.
Bekah Langely says her six-year-old son Colton starting running a high fever with a runny nose back in September. Doctor's say it's pneumonia, but they have not cleared Colton to return to school since then because some of the harmful mold is airborne.
"It's not my ideal situation or anyone's ideal situation for Colton being visually impaired and autistic."
Colton meets with a teacher everyday in his Sunday school room at church, but Langely says he needs a routine and social interaction, and hopes he can return to school soon.
"I'm so thankful for any progress that's being made, if it's the right progress. Whenever I'm told a, b, and c is going to get done, a, b, and c needs to be done," she says.
A thick, black tarp blocks this pod off from the rest of the school, where crews are stripping the floors and walls installing anti-microbial carpet.
The carpet allows a person to replace individual sections, instead of having to pull up the entire carpet. It’s more expensive than regular carpet, but it's a price administrators say they are willing to pay so kids like Colton can come back to school.
Daugherty says they plan to receive more test results on Monday to determine if other parts of the school need work.