Parents plead for answers - Chesapeake, WV - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Parents plead for answers in meeting regarding water related school evacuations

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One father showed an expert a photo of a rash on his child. One father showed an expert a photo of a rash on his child.
CHESAPEAKE, West Virginia -

Parents had their chance Friday night to speak out about the ongoing water situation in Kanawha County schools.  One attendee was noticeably absent.  Parents gathered in Chesapeake, WV for a community meeting.

"There is a smell in our building.  There is an oily substance, a discoloration in our water," said Rhonda Brogan. 

Brogan is the school secretary at Midland Trail Elementary.  She's a concerned citizen, but most importantly, she's a mom.  Her son is a freshman at Riverside High School.  Both of the schools were evacuated just days ago for water concerns.

A student and teacher were both hospitalized following flushing early Wednesday at Riverside. Sprouse and a representative from the Kanawha - Charleston Health Department said it is against protocol to flush the schools while students are present in the school.  Sprouse, who is a candidate in the running for the Board of Education said "it was a mistake" for the Board to give the "okay" to flush Wednesday, and that the intention was to complete the process prior to students arriving. Sprouse said, "How to you send them home one day and then send them back the next day without explaining how that school is now safe?"

Parents at the meeting argued that the flushing was announced over the school's intercom at 9 a.m. Wednesday.  One parent yelled aloud during the meeting that officials at the Board "lied to their faces" regarding when the flushing process began. 

Brogan said, "On Wednesday, I experienced a headache, nausea, and a weak, fainting sensation.  My headache didn't go away for 48 hours."

She is one of dozens of parents who came to share their concerns at this community meeting in All of these mothers and fathers who said they're fed up with what they're being told. The meeting was moderated by former state senator Vic Sprouse.

I asked Brogan if she was afraid of losing her job for speaking out.  She said, "I am afraid of it but at this point, it's not worth it.  I do not want my child to be a lab rat."

At this stage in the game, Brogan said It's about being open and honest with people who have children in the school system.  "Parents need to know the truth," she said.