Parents claim sewage leaks sicken Lanier students

Parents claim sewage leaks sicken Lanier students

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Plumbing problems are being reported at a 60 year old Jackson high school that parents say are making their children ill. They are speaking out about a sewer line break at Lanier High School and other conditions that they say are being ignored.

"It's not healthy so whatever I have to do Lanier needs help," said a Lanier parent who only wants to be identified as Mrs. D.

She said her ninth grader became ill Friday after a sewer line ruptured at the school. Since that time the angry mother said officials have done nothing to make improvements and students have been forced to endure unhealthy conditions.

District officials said a pump failed beneath the building which led to clogged sewer lines.The school's kitchen and some bathroom areas were affected. Repairs are being made to the pump and have been completed to the sewer line.

"When I get there it was so bad you could smell it when you get out of your car, said Mrs. D. "They had the front doors wide open with a little sewage pump trying to pump sewage, and I'm like wow why not close down, state of emergency. This is waste."

Miss Fuller, a 1996 Lanier graduate, has two children at the school and said she contacted the State Health Department. She said as a tax payer the deteriorating conditions are unacceptable.

"We can't tolerate this, said Miss Fuller. "This is our next generation. Right is right. Wrong is wrong. Everybody has a right to a job, but our children have a right to good health, a good healthy environment to get an education."

Hazel Shields, Vice President of the Lanier High School National Alumni Association, said a group toured the school in December of 2012 with the superintendent and documented broken windows and light fixtures, inoperable toilets, sinks and fountains, peeling paint and other issues.

Alumnus Dr. Aaron Shirley said the organization made a presentation of their concerns to the school board in 2013 only to be told by them that they were not obligated to respond.

Late Monday, Jackson Public Schools released the following statement:

"Lanier High School is currently experiencing problems with its plumbing system. A pump under the school building failed which led to clogged sewer lines. The school's kitchen and some bathroom areas were affected. Repairs are being made to the pump and have been completed to the sewer line."

"Sack lunches and paper products were provided to the students and employees as a result of the plumbing problems. Food service and custodian staff have thoroughly sanitized and cleaned affected areas."

"The District will continue to closely monitor the situation and take the necessary steps to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment."

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