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Chesapeake Community Meeting Held To Discuss Water Crisis Impact On Schools

Reported: Feb. 7, 2014 3:40 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 7, 2014 11:15 PM EST
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CHESAPEAKE, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- Many parents say school is the one place they should feel is safe to send their kids, however, as this water crisis continues to cause problem for many schools in the affected areas, parents aren't so sure that's the case anymore.

"We need some help for our kids," said Rhonda Brogan, one of the concerned parents.

Dozens gathered in Chesapeake Friday evening to discuss how some area schools plan to keep their kids safe as we continue to go through this water crisis.

"Eastern Kanawha County had two schools shut down,” said Vic Sprouse. ”Two schools evacuated. That is a serious, serious problem."

Riverside High School and Midland Trail Elementary dismissed early on Wednesday after complaints of a licorice odor in the water.

Students were not only sent home, but a few were sent to the hospital with irritated eyes and nose. A teacher even passed out.

National Guard members retested the water and both schools and those tests came back showing no detectable levels of MCHM.

But Brogan is the secretary at Midland Trail Elementary and she says the water at her school is *not safe at all.

"Our water at Midland Trail it smells,” claimed Brogan. “There's an oily substance in it. I've personally had it. I've seen it. I've touched it. I've had all the symptoms."

One day after the incidents at Riverside and Midland Trail, 14 other Kanawha County schools reported odor complaints, with three of those schools dismissing early.

David Allison is a parent of 7 and 8-year-old and he said both of his kids are dealing with rashes from the water.

Allison said he's uneasy about sending his kids to school these days.

"We live a block and a half from the school,” said Allison. “If this is happening in my house, the water's not safe in that school."

Both Allison and Brogan said they hope this community meeting brings more answers to the dozens of concerned parents.

"If you can smell it in the water, it's not safe to drink,” said Allison. “We're hillbillies and rednecks here in West Virginia, but it don't take a rocket scientist to figure that out."

Health Department officials were at the meeting to answer some questions. But parents were hoping to possibly speak with school board members, however, no one was there from the board.




CHESAPEAKE, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- Parents are angry and frustrated after their kids have missed, and continue to miss, class due to water issues in several schools. Now a community is asking for a call of action.

Several parents will gather at 6 p.m. Friday the Chesapeake Community Center to discuss what is next for area schools and to begin formulating questions and a plan of action to address what see as failed leadership in the schools, after students were sent home due to the water crisis.



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