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Washington High School mold problem prompts emergency meeting

7:11 PM, Oct 24, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- In July, parents of students at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta discovered that there was a mold problem at the school. The following month, Atlanta Public School officials said the mold was confined to a few classrooms in the fine arts building, and closed those areas to students.

After treatments and tests, the building was declared safe for students.

But Monday night, a group of parents, students and community members said they don't buy it; they believe the mold is still affecting students. 

Mold Information and Resources:
- Dangers of mold and how to remove from CDC
- How to contact Atlanta Public School leaders about the facilities

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District Two Board Member Byron Amos has called for an emergency board meeting to address the issue. Amos confirmed the meeting will be held before the end of the week.

"It was unbelievable - you could physically see the fur on top of the band uniforms," said Washington alum Valerie Williams. "You could see the fur and it was just unacceptable."

Williams was helping out at band camp over the summer when she noticed mold growing on the band uniforms.

She took photographs, then called the school district. Parents soon began to take notice.

"I walked in the school and I noticed -- I smelled an odor. A real thick odor. And I noticed that the mold was just about in each of those rooms -- adjacent to the band, across from the band room, where the uniforms are housed," Williams said.

An APS spokesperson gave 11Alive the following statement:

"We believe the mold issues at Booker T. Washington High School are residual cases from the initial cases that were reported and not an indication of ongoing mold in the building.

The Atlanta Public Schools Facilities Services Department continues to clean any surface mold that is discovered. New HVAC units have been ordered, and temporary units installed until they arrive. As a result of the weather changing to cool and dry, and the installation of the temporary units, the mold issue should dissipate. However, APS will continue to respond to any incidents of mold, if needed."

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