|Motion filed to cease classes at public school |
|With claims circulating for several months that Westview High School houses “toxic mold” within the building, the circuit court will be asked to grant a temporary injunction against the public school to cease operation as a place of learning until the building has been remediated according to EPA guidelines. The injunction hearing, set for Monday afternoon, is part of the second lawsuit filed against the Weakley County Board of Education by a mother of two WHS students that allege contact with mold from inside the Martin school is making them sick. |
A press release issued by the Memphis office of attorney Larry Parrish cites a motion has been filed for a temporary injunction asking the court to require Westview High School be closed until proper remediation of the toxic mold within can be eliminated. Parrish represents Carol Hinman, the most recent Westview High School parent to file suit, as well as the Joost family, who filed suit against the Board, Weakley County and others in August.
According to the suit filed Dec. 20 by Hinman on behalf of her two school-age children, Griffin and Dominique Pochop, the children have tested positive for mold exposure and have been suffering many of the symptoms as Caleb Joost.
Joost would have been a senior this year at WHS, but he was ordered to transfer to another school due to health issues the family and his doctor claim he suffered as a result of mold contamination while he was a student at Westview.
Hinman, has been an active voice for a group known as “concerned parents at Westview High School,” as she stood behind her son Griffin during a protest in August where students wore masks covering their faces and held signs that stated “Westview mold makes us sick.”
The release states Hinman “originally thought that asking the Weakley County Board of Education for assistance would eliminate the problem. Instead, the Board declined to discuss the mold contamination at Westview High School.”
In an affidavit offered by nationally-recognized toxicologist Dr. Richard Lipsey, Westview houses certain types of “toxic mold.” Lipsey conducted sample testing of areas within the school building in August 2007.
“It is my opinion that those samples contain abnormally high and extremely dangerous levels of molds and bacteria, along with the even more toxic mycotoxins and endotoxins which are associated with the molds and bacteria found in my sampling,” Lipsey stated in an affidavit.
“Most importantly, for the health and safety of the students, faculty, and staff, the leaks and condensation sources must be repaired properly and the school must be properly remediated by a qualified, insured, trained, experience remediation company, without the occupants present,” he added.
The press release issued by Parrish’s office claims that Weakley County is not unique in its alleged battle with mold issues. It cites schools in Knox County and Blountville are also finding problems with toxic mold that require an immediate closing of the affected schools. The release also describes an issue “closer to home” when the “Obion County Board of Education was faced with a mold problem and the school system immediately shut down and remediated the affected areas.”
Since August, students have claimed there is mold housed on lockers, walls and ceilings within Westview High School. As a result, Hinman’s children, as well as two others, allege contact with mold has brought about several health issues.
27th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge William Acree will be asked by Parrish on behalf of his client, Hinman, to grant a temporary injunction against Westview High School operating as a public school until it has been remediated, free from mold and meets EPA guidelines, according to the release.
Witnesses will take the stand during the motion hearing set for 1 p.m. Monday at the Weakley County courthouse in Dresden.