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The buck stops at the School Board office

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By The Staff

We were expecting a big crowd at Tuesday night's Taylor County School Board meeting. Boy, were we surprised when no one showed up.

We were as concerned as anyone when we learned about the "top story" on WHAS' Monday night news broadcast. A suspected problem with mold and mildew at Taylor County Elementary School making many children ill is certainly something parents need to know about.

As such, we assumed those parents and others who learned about the issue would be at Tuesday's meeting to ask questions and express their concerns to the School District's top officials. After all, those Board members are "the buck stops here" people.

While we commend the parents for calling attention to a potential problem, perhaps bringing those concerns to the school's site-based decision making council or the Taylor County School Board might have been a better first step.

We spoke to school and health department officials about the matter, including that information in last Thursday's News-Journal.

According to an e-mailed report we obtained by Lake Cumberland District Health Department Inspector Corey Patterson, there was indeed some mold found during an inspection of the school building ... in two ceiling tiles in a single room.

Patterson reported that he had toured the whole building, spending a lot of time in the basement area. He found a few areas of concern, namely chipped paint, water-damaged tiles and dusty air vents. And he did detect two areas with visible mold growth - in the school kitchen above a dishwasher and in a cooler. He also noted that the air conditioning ventilation system "could use a thorough cleaning, too."

Honestly, from doorknobs and pencil sharpeners to stair rails and lunch tables, any school is practically a germ factory. And with the 1,190 students enrolled at TCES sneezing, coughing and sharing items, we'd be surprised if students didn't get sick, at least occasionally.