OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) - There's still more testing at Olive Branch Elementary, where parents are worried about mold making their kids sick. Scientists declared the school safe last week, but the parents aren't buying it. So the school district went a step further Monday.
One classroom and four common areas have been tested and deemed safe. Parents said that wasn't enough, sending a letter to Desoto County Schools requesting more rooms be inspected, so DCS made that happen.
"I realize emotions get high," says Milton Kuykendall, DCS superintendent.
600 kindergartners and first graders attend Olive Branch Elementary. Since November, parents of about half a dozen have questioned whether the 40 year old building is safe.
"Since September my daughter has incurred massive sinus infections to where its damaging her eyes," says Melissa White. "It just makes sense after her testing and all she is allergic to, the school has to be the source of her problem."
DCS had five rooms tested by environmental scientists; the results, released Friday, ruled out any mold or moisture problems.
"What we're looking for is elevated mold spores levels," says Eric Davis. "That's not what we saw." But parents weren't satisfied with the number of rooms tested, worried about mold being present elsewhere and spreading.
"As other children are walking through, what is the possibility the spore count can be on them or spread through ventilation through the AC or through the return?" asked Heather Fox.
This week, DeSoto County Schools says it's taking an abundance of caution and checking more rooms.
"We're the biggest district in the state," Kuykendall says. "That's not our goal. Our goal is to be the best district in the state."
New test results should be available in the next week or so. The school system will also be deep cleaning air ducts, sanitizing hallways and replacing carpets over the Christmas break.