NEW YORK - Bethany Watts says she's disgusted and disheartened. The mother of two has been battling the Northport-East Northport School District for some two years about a foul smell inside Northport Middle School that she says made her child and others inside the building sick.
"There's moldy smells and smells of sewage, there are children complaining of headaches, nausea from the smells," Watts said.
Issues of air quality concerns date back decades. The school's K-wing was closed for a period of time in 2017 after findings revealed toxic materials were being stored in a warehouse below that part of the school. A cesspool in another location is believed to have had heavy metals inside.
Some parents say "band-aids" have been used to temporarily fix bigger issues. Photos during a building tour last year show chemical stains seen in the paint. Foam was taped around piping as a way to block vapors from entering the classrooms above.
"We've begged the Board of Ed to do soil testing and get the kids out of the building," Watts said. "They won't do it."
The Northport-East Northport School District only provided us with the last four messages that were sent to parents via email about the issue to date.
Officials insist there's no air quality issue and blame the unpleasant odor on new roof-mounted heating and cooling ventilation systems and the heat kicking in for the first time this season.
A "Sick Out" is planned for November 7. Organizers are asking parents to keep their kids home from school to send a strong message to administrators.