Board votes to shut down New Jersey school with mold

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J. (WPVI) -- The fallout continues after a Gloucester County school was shut down over concerns about mold.

During a meeting in Williamstown, New Jersey on Thursday night, the school board voted to close the school's doors. The closure could last weeks, and possibly months.

Parents were left scrambling to make other arrangements on Friday morning.

"This is ridiculous. I'm feeling like, 'Wow, I wasn't aware, I didn't know. I was waiting at the bus stop with my daughter and no bus comes," said Lakisha Thompson.

Thompson says her 6-year-old daughter, Lakeisha, already missed four days of school this year.

"Sneezing uncontrollably, constantly coughing, cold, mucus, a lot of mucus in her and I'm taking her back and forth to the doctor," she said.

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Board votes to shut down NJ school with mold. Dann Cuellar reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on October 5, 2017.

The entire school is to be decontaminated after test results came in Wednesday night showing there was a serious mold problem at the school.

"A professional company will be hired and then we'll do the entire building from every classroom and hallway," Superintendent Chuck Earling said.

The school's 537 students will be temporarily relocated to three other schools until the problem can be remedied. But a number of parents who say their children have been sick since attending the school are concerned about their ongoing health issues.

"My concern is what kind of mold because my son has severe upper respiratory issues," Tamika Williams said.

Others say they have been complaining about the mold problem for years, but the board president claims they had no idea until now.

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Parents' say school mold is making their kids sick in NJ. Nora Muchanic reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on October 5, 2017.

"This is the first time that a mold issue has come to this board in seven years. I can't tell you why it hasn't," Board President George Caruso said.
But some parents accused the superintendent of knowing about the problem for some time, and not telling the board about it.

Meanwhile, others wanted to know why all six schools in the district have not been tested for mold. The superintendent says they will now be all tested.

"As an afterthought, it should have been done at the same time," parent Melissa Sunmaker said.

"Could've, should've, would've, I'm going to do it, OK? I hear you, I know your concerns. It will be done ladies and gentlemen, it will be done," Earling said.

Officials say it is unclear how long it will take to decontaminate the school. It could take weeks or it could take months.

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