New documents reveal Cherokee Co. Schools’ response to mold concerns


CHEROKEE CO., S.C. (WSPA) – There are new developments over mold concerns some parents have complained about inside Cherokee County schools.

On October 18, in the days after a microbiologist took to social media with those claims, 7News submitted a request via the Freedom of Information Act looking for answers.

New documents were uncovered Monday that show how the district responded to those reports.

In a statement to local media from the superintendent’s office dated October 18, Dr. Quincie Moore stated the district had not been alerted to β€œthe presence of dangerous mold in any of our facilities.”

However, based on information 7News obtained through a FOIA request,school leaders were reaching out to district offices in the days prior.

On October 11, in an email to district offices that does not specify a school, someone writes “lots visible now on the sixth grade hallway,” β€œall maintenance is doing is spraying spots with bleach,” “we need to have all of our school inspected for mold immediately.”

Then on October 15, the Monday after social media posts hit the internet about mold in the schools, Moore requested every principal have their buildings checked for possible mold and report back.

Moore references the Facebook posts and states she has no knowledge of mold issues in the schools but in an abundance of caution has asked for air quality tests to be done at all schools. 

One response back states school officials had met with custodians and β€œthey had been checking on this since it was mentioned earlier in the year and they have no knowledge of a problem at Northwest.”

In one response from Cherokee County Adult Education, mold was found on vents and on walls around windows in several classrooms, cafeteria, bathrooms and in office areas. Other issues are mentioned.

In another response, the director of maintenance tells Moore that’s the only school they heard from about issues so far.

Minutes later, the principal at Luther Vaughan Elementary sends a Power Point documenting areas of concerns at the school pointing to areas of concern behind an ice machine in the cafeteria. 

At Blacksburg Primary, five areas of concern are noted as rooms that show signs of mold.

In the results from a “limited indoor air quality investigation” at Gaffney High School, conducted by JMAC on November 4th, 2016, it’s noted inspectors looked at the practice gymnasium and visuals in the main gymnasium.

Some samples taken from ductwork in the practice gym showed no visible growth.

When they took a closer look they found high levels of a common indoor mold. 

JMAC ruled the mold was not a threat to human health but recommended removal. 

7News reached out to Moore’s office Monday seeking an interview, but was told she had no availability. 

We did however receive an emailed statement from the district in regard to results from the latest round of air quality tests courtesy of JMAC. Click or tap here to see the report from JMAC

Those results will be released at the school board’s next meeting on November 12.

They also mentioned the board will hear from a concerned citizen but did not specifically mention who that would be on Monday. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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