Plumbing Problems at Carter Elementary School

Knoxville (WVLT) - Some Carter Elementary school parents are furious about plumbing problems.

And at least one mother is taking action, keeping her children home until the problem is fixed.

Volunteer TV's Lauren Davis has more on the problem, and reaction.

Backed up sewage, and no trips to the bathroom for at least an hour.

Some parents say it's just another health problem for an aging school.

Angela Wilson's two children are usually in school at Carter Elementary during the day.

But not Wednesday. She kept them home, after she says administrators told all the elementary students not to use the bathroom or run water on Tuesday.

Angela Wilson says, "It was from at least 12:45pm until 2:10pm which is more than an hour they were without water."

Carter Elementary Principal Julie Thompson, "We asked them not to use the water for about an hour yesterday afternoon while being repaired."

Tuesday, repair workers were fixing the pipe so the students were told not to use the bathroom.

The reason, according to Thompson, repairs from an incident on Monday when a sewer pipe broke and sewage backed up in the cafeteria.

Wilson says, "It was nasty very nasty."

School officials say the health department inspected the school twice and found it was safe for students to remain at school.

They also say KUB tested the water to make sure it was clean to use.

But parents are still upset their children weren't sent home.

Wilson says, "They can't go to the bathroom, they don't need to be there and if they can't wash their hands don't need to be there.

Parent, Shawna Atkins says, "Not only can they not wash hands but that smell can make them sick."

School officials say it's safe for Angela to send her students back to school and assure parents the plumbing is working and the problem won't happen again.

The health department will return to Carter Elementary school in 10 days to make sure the school is still safe for students.

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  • by Angry Parent of Carter Student Location: Thorngrove Community on Sep 19, 2007 at 10:56 PM
    I saw what happen first hand. The kids should have been sent home Friday and not to return until the work was done. Nothing was done all weekend, when it could have been fixed and over with by the new week's beginning. This didn't start MONDAY, it started the prior week and escalated as days went by. They need to think more about the children; not themselves. Parents should have been informed sooner, not after it was reported in the news or when children were coming home telling of the situation they heard through the halls. Whether the water was safe or not, children were drinking from fountains marked, OUT OF ORDER. Bathrooms were used and children were told NOT to flush. Any Sewage whether by back up or what's left in a bathroom, is unhealthy. Germs carry by air not just by touch, or did the system forget this?
  • by Concerned Parent Location: Carter Community on Sep 19, 2007 at 10:32 PM
    Carter Children are just as important as any other children in any other schools. I hope that someday they will get the new school that they were promised. Our children deserve to go to a school that doesn't have holes in the walls or mold. They can say what they want. There is mold in this school. Everytime that I spend any amount of time in Carter Elementary I end up with a sinus infection. I am counting the days until they decide to build us a new school. My children will be in high school by then but maybe my grandchildren some day will go to the new school.
  • by AMC Location: Carter on Sep 19, 2007 at 07:28 PM
    My daughter's class is right next to the cafeteria. I was not notified of this problem at all. If I had been, she wouldn't have been there today either! They should have rebuilt this school a long time ago but the money had to go to the rich part of the county instead of where it was badly needed. That is rediculous!!!
  • by Jennifer Location: Strawberry Plains on Sep 19, 2007 at 07:26 PM
    Knox Co. purchased property for a new Carter Elem. several years ago. What will it take to get them to build on it? If septic waste in the cafeteria isn't enough, what is? A bunch of ill children? Wake up Knox Co!!! Carter is a wonderful community and deserves a wonderful school.
  • by Steve Location: Knoxville on Sep 19, 2007 at 06:56 PM
    The administration and staff are doing the best they can. It's just ashamed they must continue dealing with one problem after another at Carter Elementary. The issue of mold has never been resolved from the past two years and now this! How much money will be spent over the next few years in an attempt to maintain a building that is fit for nothing other than a museum? I only hope the School Board and our County government fill the promise that was made to our commuinity 7 years ago.
  • by Elizabeth Location: Knox county on Sep 19, 2007 at 05:36 PM
    As a parent with children at Carter elementary I must say that I am extremely dissapointed in how this entire situation was handled.I myself was at the school during the time the water was off.Teachers had to explain over and over to the kids"no one can go the bathroom or get a drink".Finally after some students used the bathroom outdoors the principal said the students could use the toilets,just not flush them or use the water.It was not the teachers fault,it was the people in charge.At the FIRST sight of sewage the school should have been closed and left closed untill an all clear was given.Come on,lets get our priorities straight.If the administration of the school is this uncaring about our children they should be replaced along with that broken pipe.This was unhealthy and ancalled for.
  • by Wayne Location: Knoxville on Sep 19, 2007 at 04:40 PM
    This school should have been rebuilt but was placed on hold to build the SCHOOL THAT NO ONE WANTS out west
  • by Ann Marie Chunn:-( Location: Carter Community on Sep 19, 2007 at 04:24 PM
    That's not right, because in West Knoxville they will shut a school down if it doesn't have any air conditioning. But at Carter Elementary they won't shut the school down if there is sewage backup in the cafeteria. Also, the children couldn't use the bathroom for one hour because they shut it off so K.U.B. could check the water dring school!
  • by Mary on Sep 19, 2007 at 04:00 PM
    I agree with Angela, the school should have sent the children home when the sewage backed up into the school and the children shouldn't turn until the problem is fixed and the inside of the school is cleaned up from the problem. Sewage is unhealthy for anyone (most important is the children).


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