Mold in Schools Prompts Push for New State Legislation

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KINGSTON -- Mold discovered at Wyoming Valley West Middle School this week is prompting a legislator from our area to push a new state law.

His push comes after kids were left in the school Tuesday while mold was discovered in the building's basement.

Right now, there's no state agency that regulates mold and nothing on the state's books that says students should not be in a moldy school, but that doesn't sit well with Republican State Representative Aaron Kaufer.

"This is a public building, this is a government building."

Representative Kaufer of Luzerne County was livid to learn that there are no state requirements to inspect for mold in public buildings like schools.

The Wyoming Valley West Middle School was closed this week after mold was found in the basement. There are also several other schools in Pennsylvania where mold was discovered this year.

"It blows my mind that we don't have something to make sure that the places that we're sending our kids for school aren't safe to go to in a healthy environment," said Rep. Kaufer.

In Wyoming Valley West, district officials decided to keep kids in school all day Tuesday, even after mold was found. That upset parents, including many who flooded our WNEP Facebook page and Talkback16 line.

District officials explained their reason behind the decision.

"There are a number of parents who are at work. We felt it was better to keep them in that environment rather than dismissing prematurely and have kids go to an empty home," said district solicitor Charles Coslett.

But what still can't be answered is how cleaners overlooked the mold when washing the building over the summer. Rep. Kaufer has just started writing legislation to try to change that.

"We do it with restaurants all throughout. My idea would at least be when these restaurant inspections are being done, to make sure our schools are being done as well."

And people think that's a good idea.

"It should be checked out so the kids are safe in their own schools," said one parent.

The Wyoming Valley West School District announced Thursday afternoon the split schedule with high school kids starting 7 a.m. and middle school students starting at 11:45 a.m.


  • caps not on

    Here we go more laws because someone can’t use common sense. Mold is everywhere and a big business and some law maker wants to make a name for himself and cost the taxpayers more money. That school sits on an underground stream and they know it but can’t figure out where the water is coming from?? Give me a break.

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