Reports of Bats, Rats, and Bugs at Local High School; Parents Upset

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Loudon, Loudon County (WVLT) - Officials at Loudon County High School believe they've solved their problem with bats after a colony was found inside the school during fire renovations.

But as WVLT Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb learns, a TOSHA complaint has some parents concerned there are more problems such as mold, rats, and insects.

When Loudon High School began undergoing fire compliant renovations this August they found something they didn't expect.

"When that happened we learned quickly we had a bat colony living in between the ceiling and the roof," says John Bartlett, Loudon High Principal.

So school officials began having the bats removed and holes sealed so they could not get back in. They got a few bats out of the gym last week.

"At this point in time, as far as we know, there are no more bats in the building," says Bartlett.

"If they have to put kids elsewhere to get their schooling to get it fixed that needs to be done. You know, it's a serious problem," says Kenneth Patton, parent.

Now, a TOSHA complaint has been filed and one parent says her daughter brought home a copy of it.

"The bats, the feces of the bats, the rats and the feces of them, the mold. There was a list of about seven things," says Becky Patton, parent.

Becky and Kenneth Patton say their son has allergies and believe mold could be the cause.

"He told me last night by morning time he can breathe again and then he goes back to school and he's back with the same problem," says Becky.

But school officials say there is only dust kicking up from the renovations.

"There's no issues of mold in this building right now that I know of and TOSHA's here today to confirm that," says Bartlett.

As far as bugs, Bartlett says the school is sprayed monthly for insects and there's no problem.

They also say they do not have a problem with mice.

Bartlett says people need to keep in mind it was a TOSHA "complaint" that was filed and not "findings".


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