SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – What should I do if I think my child’s school is making him or her sick?

A good first step is to share this CBS13 story with your principal, your school board and other parents at your school. Consider posting it on your school’s Facebook page and ask your school if they’ve ever done more than a “visual” inspection for mold.

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Feel free to share their response with CBS13 Investigative Reporter, Julie Watts.

CBS13 Investigates: Hidden Toxic Mold In Schools – Why No One Is Testing For It

According to the State Board of Education, there are no laws that regulate air quality in schools, however, the California Department of Public Health is the agency that regulates mold issues in the state.

Although mold is not specifically identified in the Education Code, the Department of Education tells CBS13 that mold is one of the most common complaints that they get.

File A Complaint: Department of Education Uniform Complaint Process

The department notes there are no penalties for non-compliance by schools, though they must report complaints at their school board meetings.

Other Resources:

CDPH Statement on Building Dampness and Mold

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EPA Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit

The Healthy Schools Network also has an action plan for schools, parents, and guardians who suspect there is a problem.

Parents are advised to keep track of when a child gets sicks. For example, take note if a child consistently goes to school healthy and comes home feeling sick. Also, if your child complains of funny smells, be aware of the smells when you visit the school or classroom.

  • If you see or smell mold, insist it is cleaned up
  • Keep a journal of health symptoms
  • Talk to your family doctor

Parents are also advised to bring the issues to the school and district.

First, Healthy Schools Network says to call the principal or superintendent to ask if anyone else has complained about health problems and what plan is in place to investigate or fix any problems.

Make sure to send a follow-up letter and keep a copy for your records. Also, keep a log of any phone calls, school responses, and school communication on the topic.

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You can also request to see a copy of the work orders and an investigation into the issue. If you don’t see the school take action, Healthy Schools Network recommends talking with other parents and school personnel, including the PTA.