Teachers' Allegations About Air At Vicksburg School Have Some Parents Worried As Well

Aug 13, 2019

Jennifer Root talks to members of the Vicksburg Board of Education at their meeting Monday.
Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Vicksburg’s Board of Education faced questions about a school’s air quality Monday night. Some teachers at the Sunset Lake Elementary school have alleged that the building is damaging their health, in particular their reproductive health. That’s led some parents to worry about their children who attend the school.

Superintendent Keevin O’Neill says exhaustive tests have turned up nothing at the school that could make people sick. But he says a federal agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, will visit Sunset Lake in September to interview staff about their health.

“What we’re trying to do is allow the experts from Kalamazoo County, from the state and especially NIOSH in the fall, to guide us rather than guessing. I think sometimes through this process there’s been a lot of guesses,” he said.

Sunset Lake parent Jennifer Root says she and her husband are deliberating about whether to send their fourth-grader back to the school this fall. Root says she finds the district's test results hard to reconcile with the teachers’ claims.

“Those are two vastly different sets of data that we’re looking at. So is it somewhere in the middle? That’s what I want to know. I want to know, what is the true information?” she said.