Inside many schools all throughout the U.S. there is a serious toxic mold problem that is making many children and teachers sick. This story from the Times Standard news in California reported that the Klamath-Trinity school district has been plagued with mold problems for years, and they finally were granted $10 million in order to remediate the mold from several schools in the district.
Extremely high levels of toxic mold were found at Hoopa Valley Elementary School, Hoopa Valley High School, Jack Norton Elementary School, Orleans Elementary School, and Trinity Valley Elementary School facilities. It got so bad that many schools were closed for several weeks over the past two months.
This mold was not hidden, but apparently many of the schools had such bad mold problems that you could see extreme water damage and mold was found by inspectors growing on walls and ceilings. For example, an inspection of the Hoopa Valley Elementary School that included the gymnasium building, the administration wing, and the classroom wing rooms 5 through 8 inclusive of restrooms, found visible mold everywhere.
“At the time of investigation visual observations indicate visible mold/fungal contamination at the peak of the gymnasium as well as coming down the walls of the gymnasium were observed in the gymnasium building, mold/fungal contamination in the nurses/secretarial area on the insulation and plywood, mold/fungal contamination in the classrooms wing and the administration wing.
Visible signs of water damaged areas and mold were observed in all the listed areas. The source of water incursion problem appears to have emanated from the roof areas. The roof on the above areas is high in moisture content and appearances indicate inadequate venting.
This is causing the failure of the roof areas which no longer adequately protects the school from water incursion issues. This has also become a health and safety issue for the district as students and faculty are being exposed to high quantities of airborne mold spores. Water also comes down the inside walls of the building during storms. The classroom wing and administration building also contain high quantities of mold as it appears there is no venting to the roof area. Moisture levels based on random sampling of the plywood in the affected areas has been between 26% and 37%.”
Klamath-Trinity school district Superintendent Jon Ray had issued this statement about the school closures;
“Effective today, we are required to take immediate health and safety measures involving remediation due to mold. These health and safety measures also include immediately evacuation and closure of several classrooms, cafeterias and kitchens that will affect all campuses. Therefore, we are forced to cancel school for all of next week. Again, there will be no school for students, Monday, February 8 through Friday, February 12. Due to a previous scheduled holiday, we also do not have school the following week February 15-21. All schools will resume their normal schedule on Monday, February 22.
We will be holding a press conference and community meeting regarding these closures this Monday, February 8, 11 a.m., at Hoopa Valley High School’s gymnasium. As for your individual school, expect another announcement from your Principal about a parent/community meeting discussing how these closures affect your campus.
As a father and a family man, I have an understanding how this affects all of us. Please be assured, we are acting in the best interest of our students and staff. Thank you for your time and patience during this incredibly challenging time.”
The school district website had a list of the mold reports for all the schools:
Hoopa Elementary School
- Hoopa Elementary School.pdf
- Hoopa Valley Elem. – Mold Report-May 2015.pdf
- Pages from 121703.pdf – Hoopa Elementary.pdf
- Pages from 121760-Hoopa Elementary.pdf
- Hoopa Valley High School
- Humboldt County Division of Environmental Health
- Jack Norton
- Orleans Elementary School
- Trinity Valley Elementary School