Parents of Zumwalt MS students say closing should've happened sooner

- Parents of students at a Dallas ISD middle school got to share their concerns after learning it will temporarily close because of air quality issues.

The parents said their children should've been moved out of that building months ago and are frustrated it took the district this long to take action.

Parents attended a special meeting at Zumwalt Middle School Monday evening with a lot of questions and concerns. Several of them say they were not happy with what they heard.

Parents were first alerted last week that their students will not be returning to Zumwalt after winter break over concerns about air quality in the building.

“They should have done something when they first found about this, not wait nine months later,” said parent Omar Brown.

The fact that students are still in the building this week is a concern to Mark and Valerie Jones.

“Because it's the southern sector, I feel like they wouldn't be doing this if it was in a different area,” Valerie said. “They wouldn't be sending kids back to a hazardous school."

Mark says his Zumwalt seventh-grader suffered an asthma attack a few weeks ago and had to be hospitalized.

“He was there for a week and we almost lost him,” he said. “I don't think it played a role in it, I know it played a role in it.”

Last week, a retired maintenance supervisor told fox 4 news that mold has been an issue at the school for years.

DISD says it had been monitoring air quality and levels were never hazardous. But it did say the ventilation system needs to be replaced, along with other repairs.

Zumwalt students will attend classes at nearby A. Maceo Smith High School while the repairs are made.

DISD did not allow reporters and photographers to cover Monday’s meetings at Zumwalt and A. Maceo. But parents left angrier than they were going in mainly because classes will continue at Zumwalt for the next few days.

"That's three more days of infection. And they not going to provide no health screening. No nothing? That don't make no sense,” said another parent.

“I have two that go here to Zumwalt,” said parent Letitia Simmons. “And every day, they come home either their head hurt or their stomach hurt. That don't make no sense."

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