Mold hearing set for Monday in Dresden

Mold hearing set for Monday in Dresden
A battle that has sparked controversy surrounding a local high school will see another round in the legal arena next week. Weakley County Superintendent Richard Barber, the Weakley County School Board and Weakley County as a government entity have been under the gun pending lawsuits filed by two local families with school-age children.
The suits allege Westview High School houses an undetermined amount of mold within the building, which has caused three children to seek medical treatment as a result of contamination to mold.
Richard and Julie Joost of Martin filed the first lawsuit against the school board citing their son Caleb has suffered from respiratory illnesses while he attended WHS through his junior year of high school.
The second family involved with the mold allegations, Carol Hinman and her two high-school age children, Griffin and Dominique Pochop, has requested the courts to grant a temporary restraining order for Westview to cease operations as a public school until the building has been professionally remediated and rid of apparent toxic mold.
During a court hearing in February, 27th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge William Acree ordered the Board to begin immediate remediation on the campus of WHS, with a permanent remediation effort to take place during the students’ summer break.
Acree also ordered the remediation to be photographed and documented with the efforts during the mold removal to fall within EPA guidelines.
Barber admitted temporary remediation has taken place at the Martin high school by a company out of Nashville since Acree’s ruling. The money used for the remediation will come out of a capital projects line item form the school’s general fund. Barber said the money in capital projects had been set aside to rework the HVAC systems at Westview High School and a Dresden school. The superintendent also said he was unsure of the complete cost of the remediation project until later this summer.
The continuance of the temporary injunction hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, May 12 in Weakley County Circuit Court.
Hinman also claims her middle school age child, Paige, has suffered respiratory illnesses as a result of contamination with mold at Martin Middle School. A toxicologist was allowed to take samples from the middle school to determine if the building does house toxic mold. A temporary restraining order has been filed against MMS. That hearing was also continued until next Monday and Tuesday.
Caleb Joost is enrolled at Obion County Central High School as a senior.
The Pochop children have been allowed to complete their school year in the homebound program offered by the school system. Homebound allows students to participate in extracurricular activities while taking courses at home.
Both families that have sued the Board are requesting jury trials and damages.
WCP 5.09.08

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