Mold causes Palmer Park students to attend Detroit International Academy
DETROIT (WJBK) - A packed auditorium played host to a meeting about relocating kids from Detroit's Palmer Park Preparatory Academy to a new school building after concerns over mold.
Starting Monday those students will be sent to Detroit International Academy where Palmer Park students to finish out the year.
The administration has a third party testing the school for mold but no matter how those results come back, students from Palmer Park will attend the academy while the Palmer Park building is cleaned up and repaired.
The kids' health obviously the number one concern.
"When we were at home I was okay, when we started at this school my asthma was flaring up," said student Lania Hicks.
Coughing, runny nose, headache - the Palmer Park Prep student said that all started happening when she began attending the school in December.
Her mom says all three of her kids go there and all three had similar issues.
"That mold causes all kinds of health problems," mom Rodnisha New said.
The peeling paint, leaking roof, building repair - that was something the administration says they knew about. And they were working to repair the roof but possible mold just came up Thursday.
"Prior to that point it was not a discussion of mold," said DPSCD superintedent Nikolai Vitti said.
Vitti also says she saw mold and told the administration. By Monday school was shut down and a third party investigator brought in to figure out if the building is safe.
No matter what the results, more than 500 children will be relocated. Some parents are wondering if it’s too little too late.
"I completely agree with you," Vitti told an upset parent at the meeting. "I am not standing here defending the practices of previous administrations."
"I am about to homeschool my kid right now," said parent Lisa Steward. "I would rather him get away from Palmer Park period then deal with people who don't care about these kids. To me they don't care."
The focus is trained on this one Detroit Public School but the reality is the administration has its hands full with several schools needing a little TLC.
"We are playing catch-up, this is picking up broken glass frankly," Vitti said. "It was irresponsible regarding how this district was operated under emergency management. I am not creating excuses. This is what I came to fix and this is what we are going to fix."
Dr. Vitti says that while Palmer Park was already on the list of schools needing repair there are at least 12 others that need serious attention.
The results of an environmental test at Palmer Park by a third party at should be back by the end of next week.