This cartoon appeared in last week's paper. Funny, huh?
Back-to-school time is often a bit wistful as we say goodbye to summer. Students may be a little nervous about what lies ahead. Parents may be anxious about big transitions for their children. We don't often think about what it's like for teachers and staff fearing to go in a building because it makes them sick.
The following quotes are from the "Mold in Howard County Schools - Information for Parents" Facebook Page.
Here is a statement from a current teacher:
"At this point, we'll keep fighting this fight and I'll have to do what I can to keep my health the best that I can while we're doing it. Sadly, I've come to know that I've had mold related illnesses for several years due to HCPSS negligence. When I left (prior) school -- years ago, I'd had a chronic sinus infection for over a year. The trailer I taught in - requested an air quality check on and was told it was safe - was condemned a year and half later for black mold behind the walls. When I came to current school and after the surgery, my symptoms were better for a few years. When I changed into my current room, I gradually began getting sick more often and didn't really connect it until last year... It was probably due to the chronic ceiling leak that took several years to fix.
In the meantime, I need my job and don't have other choices at the moment. I'm glad my students transfer in and out of my class and don't have much exposure to it."
And a response from a retired teacher:
"And I thought I was alone being sick year after year, 3 & 4 times a year with bronchitis, prednisone spurts, inhalers, nebulizer treatments- lung permanently weakened- and it's just a "maintenance issue." I am so sad for this teacher, her classes & the rest of the teachers/staff & students suffering through this exposure to mold. Is the BOE & Dr. Foose really this deaf & heartless? The one on the BOE who absolutely blows my mind is Dr. Siddiqui, a pediatrician, who does NOT advocate for the children of Howard County. How can she sit there & say NOTHING about the health ramifications?? The first line of the Hippocratic Oath is DO NO HARM. She has caused harm over & over again by NOT SPEAKING UP!"
It's a clever device to set the continuing saga of mold in our schools on a Monopoly Board. The truth is that a majority of our school board has been playing games with the health of students, teachers, and staff for years and is still not truly taking responsibility.
You have a choice in November as to what kind of a school board you want. There's a lot of information out there to consider. One thing is simple. There's only one person on the ballot who could have done something to fix this, but didn't.
The only way that Howard County citizens win this game is by electing better Board Members who truly represent the community.