Mysterious Sickness Plagues Shawnee School Employees


Friday, January 25th 2013, 6:46 pm
By: Dana Hertneky


Something is making workers at a Shawnee school sick. Right now what it is, is a mystery.

On Thursday air quality experts checked to see if mold  may be to blame. The issue is in the kitchen of the early childhood center. Administrators started investigating after all the employees who work there started getting sick.

It was early this month that school administrators say they started realizing something in the kitchen wasn't right.

"I think it raises alarms when you have more than one experiencing problems," said Shawnee Superintendent Dr. Marc Moore.

On Jan. 11, the Director of Nutrition services sat down will all the employees and they all complained of the same things.

"They're symptoms like dizziness and lightheadedness and headache," said Deborah Taylor, Director of Nutrition Services for the district. "Headache is one of things and it's a little different headache than they're used to. Then kind of a fogginess and then they're tired when they get home from work more than normal."

ONG was called out immediately and the building was evacuated to investigate a gas leak. A Carbon monoxide detector was then installed. The vent hoods checked out fine, but the symptoms continued.

"If it is something here, we're doing everything we can to find it," said Taylor.

Thursday, environmental inspectors spent six hours on the sight investigating if mold could be the problem. Back in 2008, when the building was built, there were condensation issues.

"We are testing for several items. At this point I can't speculate what it might be," said Moore.

Moore says at this point, the issue seems to be confined to the kitchen and students aren't in danger.

"We're assessing it on a daily basis, but at this point, we don't believe there's a safety issue for the children."

The preliminary air quality report is expected on Monday.