Father Thinks His Son's School Is Making Him Sick

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

An eastern Kentucky man is convinced something at his son's school is making him sick.

The Martin County man says his son complained about a terrible smell at Inez Elementary School.

He says the boy came home from school sick Tuesday and Wednesday. He believes the smell has something to do with it.

Jim Pack says his first grader is used to a foul smell coming from a bathroom at Inez Elementary School.

“The first few days of school this year the smell wasn't really noticeable until the kids started using all the facilities,” Pack said.

Pack suspects a faulty sewer system is to blame for his son's frequent illness.

He says the 6-year-old missed more than nine days of school last year, and the pattern started again this week.

“He would come home, have diarrhea, throwing up, running a fever, and upset stomach, headache,” Pack said.

A longtime employee at the school who asked to remain anonymous says the odor was a major distraction for students and teachers during the last three school years.

Superintendent Mark Blackburn did not want to go on camera but says maintenance workers contained the smell Wednesday and are repairing the sewer system.

He says he's had no reports of students getting sick.

Martin County Health Department director Steve Ward also did not want to go on camera, but he says the county's environmentalist visited the school Wednesday afternoon and found no evidence the smell is a health threat.

Pack says if the problem persists he'll send his son to another school district.

“If it's unhealthy, he's going to go to West Virginia. I mean I can't jeopardize his health even though he's getting a better education here,” Pack said.

Health Director Steve Ward says the department may take air quality samples in the school if he receives more complaints of kids getting sick.

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