Greenback parents blame school gas leaks for kids' illnesses

Greenback parents blame school gas leaks for kids' illnesses

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By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

GREENBACK (WATE) -- Some parents say Greenback School is making their kids sick. Now, they're talking about filing a lawsuit.

Problems plague the school. The parents blame the latest issue, natural gas leaks, for their children's poor health and fears of going to school.

Greenback students missed classes last week because the school was closed for repairs.

"I had my nine-year-old daughter walk into my house the other day and ask me if the school blows up and she dies, how much will they have to pay me?" said Wendy Tittsworth at a public meeting Monday night.

Principal Joey Breedlove assured parents the entire gas system has been inspected, more detectors are being installed and firefighters are checking levels three times a day.

"Please help them to get over the thought that they're not safe in school because I understand that's prevalent right now," Breedlove implored parents.

But some parents say their children are feeling more than fear, and are actually getting sick.

That includes Jennifer Rozelle's eight-year-old. "Today, on the first day back to school in a week, they call me within two hours and say she has a headache and I need to bring her Tylenol."

Marletta McCleary says about her 13-year-old, "They have tied everything that's wrong with her to carbon monoxide. That is the school's problem."

It's a problem parents aren't going to forget about, especially if Loudon County commissioners can't find the money to build a new school.

"We actually have several parents who are getting doctors who will be brought in to testify if we have to bring a class action suit," Tittsworth says.

School officials say any time they smell gas, students are evacuated immediately, but regular testing has never detected dangerous levels.

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