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Schools Chancellor Pressed For Answers On Mold Problem At Williamsburg Schools

(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City’s schools chancellor is responding to parents’ complaints over mold at a middle school where some parents claim students are getting sick.

Parents are fuming over an ongoing mold problem at P.S. 17 and M.S. 577 in Williamsburg where walls, ceilings and baseboards are covered in gunk, CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano reported.

“They don’t care what’s going on with the kids,” one parent said.

“The kids are always complaining when they go into the classrooms, they can’t breathe properly,” another parent said.

The city said seven classrooms were found with new mold just last week, Mercogliano reported.

An emergency school meeting led by deputy chancellor Kathleen Grimm was held Monday night intended to satisfy parents by revealing details of a massive clean-up.

The meeting however, ended up infuriating parents more.

Parents’ demands to relocate their children were met with a resounding “no” and on Tuesday, in Greenwich Village, New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott was pressed for answers.

“We did air testing and they came back with a clean bill of health,” Walcott said. “I can’t comment about individual students being sick. We did our job. I don’t think it’s because of the mold.”

The problems apparently stem from a leaky facade and a worn-out roof that’s currently surrounded by scaffolding.

Eighth grader Matthew DeJesus and his friends appeared in Hazmat suits at Monday night’s meeting and said they were sick for two days last week.

“I’ve been having mild headaches, and a lot of breathing problems, and shortness of breath,” DeJesus said.

School officials say they’ll continue to test and monitor the air.

Meanwhile, parents say they’ll keep their sick kids at home.

Officials, including city health inspectors, said the most recent testing showed low mold levels and the classrooms tested are safe for students.