What to Know
- The Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School on Long Island was found to have mold this week, concerning parents and staff
- Officials insist the school has been cleaned and is safe, but some parents are not convinced, saying their kids have been sick
- Other schools across the tri-state have been dealing with similar mold problems since the start of the new school year
Parents and teachers are concerned after mold was discovered in a Long Island school, but officials insist the building is safe after a thorough cleaning.
The Connectquot school district confirmed mold was found in classrooms, hallways, the cafeteria and the auditorium inside Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School, blaming it on high temperatures and high levels of humidity this summer.
Some parents believe their children have gotten sick from exposure to the mold. Theresa Dieso says her 12-year-old daughter Renee was diagnosed Wednesday with a mild case of asthma, and she believes the symptoms are indicative of being around mold.
Chris Johnson's eighth-grade son has also been feeling ill: "Recently, he came home and he started having breathing issues -- coughing, wheezing -- which he never had before," said Johnson.
And the teachers' union president said some of his colleagues are suffering as well.
In a letter to parents, the superintendent said crews have been cleaning the mold, and air scrubbers and dehumidifiers have been brought in. Some areas of the school were even placed off limits. The superintendent insisted the building is safe.
But Dieso says the school should be closed and cleaned completely. In the meantime, she's moving her daughter to another school. It's unclear if other parents will try to follow suit.
"You shouldn't have to worry about the safety of your kids when they go to school," she said.
For now, the district says it will continue to clean up the building and communicate with parents on what's happening inside.
Other schools across the tri-state have been dealing with similar discoveries of mold since the start of the new school year.
In Yonkers, Paideia School 15 was closed for two days this week when mold was discovered, and students were to be sent to another building for classes afterward. Dozens of schools across New Jersey also found mold and toxic gas earlier in the month, forcing them to shut down and relocate.
And in New York City, a college dorm building belonging to New School had to be evacuated when mold was found.