I was disappointed to read the editorial about the Howard County Public School System's handling of a mold investigation at Glenwood Middle School. The editorial paints a picture of a school system that has intentionally kept a mold investigation from the public, a picture that simply is not true.
To start, the reports provided under the Maryland Public Information Act do not indicate that there was ever a health risk. These allegations, and the public perception that there was in fact a health risk, are unsupported by the documented evidence.
Regarding transparency, the former principal did send a message to the community during the 2013-14 school year regarding work underway at that point in time to safeguard the air quality in the school. During that same period, the then-chief facilities officer also communicated with staff and the PTA executive board. These actions are not those of a school system intent on covering up a mold problem.
We have ongoing maintenance projects in all of our schools, and we do not as a matter of practice inform parents of every maintenance project. We do inform parents when there is evidence that health and well-being could be compromised. In the case of Glenwood Middle School, we brought in the best experts, followed their advice to the letter, and have been advised that at no time were the health and well-being compromised from the environmental conditions in that building.
My colleagues and I are in this field because we genuinely care about children — their education and their overall well-being. Concerns regarding communication have been heard. As we move forward, we are committed to increased communication with families regarding air quality and environmental conditions in our facilities.
Howard County Public School System