NEW INFO: Oakwood Says No Problems Found After Three Students Pass Out

A private school in Greenville says three students may have passed out this morning because they were watching a presentation on blood donations.

Police say the first call came in around 8:35 to Oakwood School on MacGregor Downs Road.

At first, authorities believed there was a natural gas leak, but Greenville Utilities says they don't service that area. Four other students were taken to Vidant who experienced dizziness, according to the school.

All students were evacuated from the upper school building and were relocated to the main campus as a precaution.

In a letter to parents, Oakwood says it can find no environmental causes for the students becoming ill. It says the school's HVAC contractor has even tested for freon leaks as well as air quality and found no problems.

The school says during the morning meeting, the students were hearing a Red Cross presentation detailing steps of blood donation and blood collection when they became ill.

"Is there an aspect of lots of kids in a room talking about a subject matter that made them queezy, the health officials at Vidant indicated that sometimes that is a factor, that students arrive as teenagers to school they haven't had breakfast. They're standing up, they haven't circulated their blood, and all of a sudden for whatever reason they end up fainting," said Oakwood Head of School Robert Peterson.

The students were treated at Vidant and released.

Oakwood says classes in the upper school building will resume at regular time on Friday.

Oakwood Letter

Dear Oakwood Parents and Friends,

Earlier today, the Upper School was evacuated after 3 students became ill while attending a morning meeting. The children were immediately transported to the Vidant Medical Center, along with 4 other students who experienced dizziness, to receive care for their symptoms. The staff and faculty immediately moved all students to the elementary campus. The school received immediate assistance from the Greenville Fire and Rescue, Greenville Police Department and Greenville Utilities Company to identify any potential concerns related to the building and mechanical systems.

There was no gas leak as earlier reported in the media. There are no gas connections to the school or the science lab in the Upper School and Greenville Utilities Company confirmed this while checking for additional issues that could have caused the incident. All precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of our facilities, including having all air and heating systems checked by our HVAC contractor, to test for Freon leaks and air quality related to the systems, and no problems were found. The school also worked with CA Lewis to complete further testing to confirm the safety of the Upper School facilities.

While attending the morning meeting, the 8th-12th grade classes were hearing a Red Cross presentation detailing the steps of blood donation and blood collection. The students who became ill received care at Vidant and have since been released. They were thoroughly checked for any anthropogenic causes that could have been related to the episode. So far there has been no test results that provide information related to environmental causes that might have precipitated the incident.

After extensive examination of the property by the staff, police, fire and rescue, and system contractors the Upper School building has been reopened and classes will resume at regular time tomorrow. Our focus is on the safety of our students and we have taken all the necessary steps needed to confirm that the building is safe for student occupancy.

Rob Peterson
Head of School