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Parents Taking Charlotte, Sarasota Schools To Court

Claim Mold At Two Schools Is Making Their Children Sick

March 1, 2004
By Melissa Keeney
Sarasota -

Chantelle Debejare has a list she's memorized well. "Headaches, red watery eyes, vomiting." Those are all symptoms of what's known as "sick building syndrome." Debejare says her sons contracted the illness while attending Glenallen Elementary School in Sarasota County. Debejare says, "In my generation, you could trust the school. It's not fair, cause you send them there and you think they're safe. And they're not."

Debejare is one of eleven parents who filed a lawsuit on Monday. Eight of the lawsuits cited Glenallen. Another three are against Lemon Bay High School in Charlotte County. Each suits says mold problems have persisted for years at both schools, and the respective districts have done little to eradicate the situation. Diana Farnan is one of the plaintiffs. WINK introduced you to her daughter, Keisha, last October. Now, the 12th grader had to drop out of Lemon Bay High School, complaining of everything from rashes to chronic asthma. "She almost died on me two times. Completely stopped breathing," says Diana.

Lawyers for the parents say the schools have ignored the problem. They cite a work log from Lemon Bay that claims mold was seen for months, but went unchecked. "To not do air testing, to not test behind the walls, is not doing what is necessary," says attorney Scott Gelfand.

Both school districts say they have done what's necessary, but all tests have come back negative. "We do everything we can to keep the environment as clean as possible," says Sarasota schools spokesperson Sheila Weiss. "If it was as serious as they say it is, there would be more patterns of illness."

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The major problem in schools is that they are made as cheaply as possible. So the AC unit is junk. It costs too much to run and too much to maintain. If you check their filters they are filled with mold and bacteria laden junk and toxins.

In a cartoon in another mold book I am doing we have maintenance people pushing moldy wet tiles into the ceiling and replacing it with clean tiles. Yet above is illness producing mold.

Further, the illnesses and problems caused by the mold in the schools include much more than sinus or asthma. Patients can have dozens of different problems, including mood trouble, behavior problems and learning struggles.

99% of physicians are not trained in the treatment of sick buildings and that is why I helped write the 600 page Mold Warriors and two other mold books.

Families have to learn for themselves. Forget about the local school board automatically fixing the problem.

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Dr. Schaller cannot support or endorse any comment made above. Material from third parties cannot be validated and you are encouraged to seek out the sources if you want to confirm any statement as valid.



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