Second sewage problem at Morningside Elementary School uncovered by NewsChannel 5

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Last Friday, WPTV-TV first told you about a plumbing leak that students and teachers say got them sick, forcing some home ill at Morningside Elementary School.

On March 7, in a report from the Florida Department of Health, inspectors cited a sewage disposal problem near a portable during a routine inspection. The report was marked "unsatisfactory."

Kerry Padrick, a spokeswoman for the St. Lucie Public Schools, says it was caused by too many paper towels.

She said, the problem was "taken care of that very same day."

In a follow up report March 10, the health department gave them a clean grade, marked "satisfactory."

Both reports signed by principal Cortina Bell-Gray, but parents didn't find out about this problem, until Thursday, more than a month later.

"Hearing that information, it makes me think, what else do we not know about our school?" questions mother Candice Veach. Her son is in fourth grade at Morningside Elementary.

On Monday, the school district sent a letter home, telling parents of an outside plumbing pipe leak they say they discovered on April 5.

WPTV-TV asked Padrick, "So, if that outside pipe break didn't happen, would parents ever been notified about this?"

She replied, "The outside pipe issue was one separate portable, this was another issue. And so, since the public records request and you brought this forward, we want our parents to know absolutely everything."

The two sewage problems separated by two portables. The school district says the air is safe, they tested everyday since April 5..

WPTV-TV asked Candice, "Do you feel comfortable sending your son back to that portable?"

She replied, "I'm very hesitant to but I have to trust that they are doing the testing."

"They keep on saying we're going to go back on the portables," says fourth grade student Gidaya Rubi, who is feeling better after missing school bedside she was sick. "If we attempt to, something happens, then we go back. We're not learning."

Class resumed in the portable Thursday, and some students went home after their parents didn't want them to be inside.

WPTV-TV spoke to several students and teachers who say they are all, in general, feeling better.
 

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