UPDATE: Washington County School To Remain Closed Thursday

State health and environmental officials say testing at Pines Elementary in Plymouth has not determined what might have caused dozens of kids to get sick.

School will remain closed Thursday while the investigation continues. State health department officials said Wednesday that lab results from samples taken at Pines Tuesday did not indicate any relationship to the kids getting sick. Investigators will survey staff and parents of the sick children to better their exact illness. In the meantime, carpets and air returns in the school are being cleaned.

Monday six children were sent to the emergency room, complaining of coughing, general respiratory distress and vomiting. This came five days after some 30 students began coughing and complaining of headaches.

The school outside of Plymouth was shut down Thursday and school officials thought they had corrected the problem later that day. Students returned Friday and no problems were reported.

Wednesday the state took swabs from air conditioning vents, walls and carpet. Those samples will be sent to Raleigh for further testing.

Experts say they concentrated on the schools "A" wing where the symptoms were most prevalent. The state looked at temperature, humidity, air supplies, volume of air, and carbon dioxide.

The team also looked at overall moisture levels and found nothing unusual. They also checked temperature and humidity levels in several places and say everything was with design parameters and within acceptable limits.

The school system says as soon as written reports are available, they will be made available to the parents and the public.

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  • by Anonymous on Oct 19, 2007 at 08:26 PM
    AMEN!!! They do not want parents to be involved.
  • by Been Involved Location: Plymouth on Oct 19, 2007 at 05:58 PM
    People say there is no parental involvement at Pines and other schools, and use that to portray parents in a negative light. Have you stopped to ask why officials and staff are not involved with parents? Look how the parents are being treated now. Their concern over this situation and want for communication was ignored from the beginning. Parents would have been more understanding and trusting of officials if they had just been up-front and made parents aware, promptly. Is anyone foolish enough to think this is the only time they didn't take parents feelings into consideration? I believe they want to do what they want w/o outside interference, such as parents. Anybody can pass by you in a hall and give a friendly smile and greeting, that doesn't make it sincere. It's when parents do try to be active and get involved they realize their presence is really not welcome, unless they have their pocket books open. Don't you think maybe parents get sick of being ignored and used by officials?
  • by Jonathan Location: Plymouth on Oct 19, 2007 at 12:44 PM
    First off my child was sick( I cleaned up the vomit) and second of all my child will not be returning to pines until they have a definitive cause of the problem, and the school is cleared by the state. I keep hearing in these comment about people wanting to go clean the school and the school is being cleaned......if there is mold in there the school needs to be gutted! It will return I don't care how much cleaning they do. I am very active in my childs life and school, But the volunteer programs at pines are non existant, Pta is a joke, and when you give them ideas they don't want to here them. Go to a PTA meeting or a school meeting there are maybe 5 sets of parents there. Maybe that should tell you something. The last meeting we attended (which has been all of them) there were maybe 6 parents there.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 19, 2007 at 11:37 AM
    Did everyone else also get the paragraph in the last news article "they are cleaning the air ducts and the carpets". WHAT!!!! cleaning the carpets???? They should be removed-- PERIOD -- floors bleached and new non-porous flooring installed, NOT carpeting that will hold the moisture. The non-porous flooring can at least be bleached as needed.
  • by Sick or "Not" sick on Oct 19, 2007 at 11:31 AM
    I agree that some kids were definately sick the 2nd time around, that's why my 1st post stated, "I am NOT saying that kids did not get sick the 2nd time around, but I wonder how may kids might have faked it". I absolutely think that the children taken to the ER were ill and I am most certainly not downplaying that. There IS a reason why some children became ill and we must discover the cause. The school has taken this seriously now too, or at least making it look like they care because of the concerned parents (as they should) by having the pro's complete the cleaning this time around. My personal opinion is that they should introduce the kids that were most sensative to the environment back in for a short period to see if their symptoms return before re-opening the school after it has been cleaned. I aldo do not think the ones that "faked" it are irrelevant as the state is conducting an interview of those students as well. They must know which kids were affected and which were not
  • by Faking it on Oct 19, 2007 at 10:15 AM
    I have no doubts that some kids may have "faked" symptoms the second time around...however the ones that were taken to the hospital were definitely NOT. Be careful not to downplay the situation. Whether some kids pretended to have a headache or whatever is completely irrelevant. Those children who were taken to the emergency room were sick.
  • by Sick or "Not" sick on Oct 19, 2007 at 07:54 AM
    I realize that some children got sick the first time and it may well be because of mold and/or mildew, afterall, the school is built in a low lying, wet, swampy area. I am NOT saying that kids did not get sick the 2nd time around, but I wonder how may kids might have faked it the 2nd time around too. I have heard rumors that alot of children said to "fake it" the 2nd time and maybe they wouldn't have to go to school. The initial report from the state health has said that all swabs taken were within normal limits!! Just a thought to think on. Parents--ask your kids
  • by resident Location: plymouth on Oct 19, 2007 at 04:32 AM
    What's amazing to me is that parental involvement in the schools in this area is virtually non-existent unless there is a problem. Yes, there are parents who are actively involved, but the PTA is very low functioning in Pines (and doesn't exist at all at Union). Get involved when there isn't a problem, not just when you have something (however serious) to complain about.
  • by Disgusted Location: Plymouth on Oct 18, 2007 at 10:03 PM
    The 1st problem needs to be found & fixed & a preventive maintenance plan implemented & executed reguarly.The cleaning, if mold, should be done by professionals.Now, if people are willing to put their own health at risk to save money-go for it.It may be years before you see any health problems. The 2nd problem is much easier to fix & was created by officials not concerned parents.It's not finger pointing, it's facts that need to be brought to light & addressed.Knowing the facts, parents have every right to be upset.They knew how parents felt the 1st time, but made no effort to act different the 2nd time.The careless attitudes displayed by them are many times the norm.This time was just on a larger more serious scale.They showed no concern for children, staff, or parents b/c they don't have to.Look how many are willing to turn a blind eye and make excuses for them now.They put their selves it the hot seat & they should have to deal with it.They need consequences and we need change!
  • by momof3 Location: creswell on Oct 18, 2007 at 04:40 PM
    I don't think anyone should point fingers at Dr. Hoggard but at the BOE and the old principle. Dr.Hoggard is a caring and a wonderful principle. He was a here in Creswell many years and knew each kids and talked to them all the time. He always knew if one of his kid had a problem or if they missed a day of school. As,for, the old principle from pines he is here in Creswell and he show not care or feeling towards the students. Dr.Hoggard keep Creswell up to standanrd and in a healthy staties. So, you all should look and see we all the problems really started at Pines. Hope everything get back right. As long, as Dr.Hoggard is in control all thing will get right. He is the best principle I have ever seen in a school system.

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