Peoria parents confront school officials with evidence of classroom moldPosted: Updated:
PEORIA, Ariz. -- A meeting between parents and Deer Valley Unified School District officials turned heated Monday tonight, over fears of mold in an elementary school.
Late Monday night, school officials decided to move classes out of the school.
In a letter to parents, school officials wrote:
At the conclusion of the meeting, it was determined in the best interest of students, teachers and parents of Terramar, school will be in session at an alternative site. Students that come to Terramar in the morning will be relocated to Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) for September 16th and 17th.
Terramar Elementary, near 70th Avenue and Happy Valley Road, is a relatively new school, but it has a chronic problem with leaks when storms move through.
School officials say, despite their best efforts, contractors have been unable to solve the water leakage problem over the years.
While school officials say their air quality tests last week came back clear, parents insist the school has a major mold problem.
Of the 850 students at the school, 180 stayed home on Monday.
Lisa Best, who runs the Parent Teacher Student Association, paid to have her own tests run on samples of classroom walls.
"We ran four samples, and the lab found seven kinds of mold, including black mold. I was disgusted and sick to my stomach," Best told 3TV.
She also reached out to the Environmental Protection Agency. A mold expert with the EPA responded immediately, telling her the parents' concerns are valid.
Best presented her findings, pictures of mold, and a Petri dish to school officials at a meeting Monday. Other parents in the crowd, which filled the gymnasium, grew angry.
"Withholding information from us doesn't sit well," one man said to the school officials up front.
"We did not find any mold growing," a district official responded.
"The air quality tests came back cleaner than the air we breathe outside," he added.
The Deer Valley District will run further tests.
The entire district letter to parents is below: