Students Become Ill At Lawrence County, KY School

By: Peter O'Connor Email
By: Peter O'Connor Email

More than twenty fifth grade students and two teachers in one class at Blaine Elementary suddenly had to go to the hospital. It has still not known what caused them to get sick.

Blaine Elementary School was dismissed at its normal time, but earlier Wednesday afternoon, the scene was anything but normal. School officials say they had to get more than a dozen fifth graders decontaminated and to nearby hospitals before it got any worse.

Authorities shut down Route 32 so ambulances could get students and teachers from one fifth grade class at Blaine Elementary to nearby Three Rivers Medical Center in Louisa and Paul B. Hall Hospital in Paintsville.

"They said something about needing oxygen, they said they're having nausea and they're throwing up," one parent said.

"Because we felt like this is some kind of exposure, we decontaminated them here, then they were decontaminated again at the hospital just to make sure we got anything that may cause an irritation on their skin off," said Kristy Bolen, Regional Epidemiologist.

School officials say the students and teachers had allergy type symptoms, such as a rash and upset stomach. Officials say they reacted as fast as they could.

"Everything was shut down as a complete precautionary measure to not have people from the community to come into the building if there was a serious problem and then return them back out to the community," said Emergency Management Director Harold Slone.

Despite the incident, school officials say school will start at its normal time Thursday and concerned parents do not need to worry.

"We will however have that one room contained and locked off so there will not be any further entrance into that room until will find more information from the authorities on that," said Assistant Superintendent Joe Hewlett.

Authorities say they will meet Thursday morning to see what the next step will be.

Hospital officials say the fifth graders are doing better and should be able to return to school as early as Thursday.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by kayla Location: louisa on Mar 31, 2008 at 02:17 PM
    they should of not had school
  • by Sam Location: Louisa on Mar 21, 2008 at 01:34 PM
    If there is a child on a ventialtor it isn't being told to anyone. This is the 1st any of us have heard about it. I want to say I feel for the children involved, and their parents. WSAZ has stopped carring this story. Well they won't let you post anymore comments. And they have removed all the ones that have been made. I belive there is more to this than is being told. We need to find out.
  • by Be-Linda Linton Location: Prestonsburg KY on Mar 21, 2008 at 05:27 AM
    The story here is only slightly true. Some serious facts are not disclosed for whatever reasons. For example there were over 20 students, more than one class room was effected, several were admitted to the hospital, I believe 2 were air lifted out of Louisa and 1 is still on a ventialtor. There are many concerns for many folks here in Blaine and they feel certain there is more to the story. If the officals have not discovered what exactly happend, Then why did they allow students and teachers back into the school? This investigation needs to be taken to a higher level. Something is certainly not right!
  • by Renee Location: pikevlille ky on Mar 21, 2008 at 05:00 AM
    I remember when there use to be a time school boards cared about the safety of the children. Now days seems like all they care about is the Test scores and Attendance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the money they get out of our children I have two children of my own and i dont blame these parents for being concerned if we dont look out for our kids who will???????????? So i would say keep your kids home safe with you after the attendance goes down and they start losing money they will find out whats going on in that school......
  • by Jimmy Location: Indiana on Mar 21, 2008 at 04:26 AM
    A similar incident happened in Jasper, AR public school in the mid-80's, affecting children, rescue workers and hospital staff, no cause ever determined
  • by me on Mar 20, 2008 at 09:20 AM
    They were not all fifth graders my cousin is only a third grader and he was affected by and taken to the hospital
  • by Me! Location: Ky on Mar 20, 2008 at 05:14 AM
    I bet their attendance is way down today.I know I wouldn't send my children to that school after that happened yesterday.Looks to me like they would have to find out what it was before anyone was allowed back inside the school at all.I hope the news follows this story and lets us know what it was.
  • by christy on Mar 19, 2008 at 08:11 PM
    it was not just 5th grade i have one in 1st grade ,one in 3rd grade and one in 4th grade and 6th grade and they all ended up with the rash and they went to the ER and there rash is not gone and they didn't even no that my kids had it till i went to the ER so there r more kids with it than they think
  • by christy on Mar 19, 2008 at 08:00 PM
    u all go ahead and have school but mine will not be there til i no what is going on they have been throw to much today with there problems
  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Johnson Co. on Mar 19, 2008 at 06:58 PM
    This is absolutely horribel I will keep these studenst and tehir families in my prayers.


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