CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several parents took their concerns about the water quality in Kanawha County’s schools to the Kanawha County Board of Education’s office in Charleston on Friday afternoon.
“We’re here to take a stand for our children,” said Nicole Tose, whose son attends Overbrook Elementary School — one of the schools where students were sent home early Thursday because of reports of a strong licorice scent, the trademark of MCHM, in the water.
“We’re tired of being lied to. We’re tired of not knowing whether our children are safe. One report says the water’s safe, the next day, the water’s not safe, the smell’s still there,” said Tose who helped organize Friday’s event, dubbed “Enough is Enough,” through Facebook.
She told MetroNews affiliate 58-WCHS it would not be the last such protest.
In addition to Overbrook Elementary School, Watts Elementary, J.E. Robins Elementary, Midland Trail Elementary and Riverside High reopened on Friday following additional flushing of the schools and water testing.
A handful of parents of students from those other schools were also part of Friday’s protest.
Kanawha County school officials said, in a statement issued Thursday before the reopenings, water tests showed MCHM was at non-detectable levels, below one part per billion, in all of the schools.
“Kanawha County Schools is going beyond recommended requires to ensure the safety of our children,” the statement said.
Tose, though, said those schools should not have reopened.
“It’s not worth my child going to school and who knows what the long-term effects could be? It could be a belly ache today, who knows what it’s going to be in five years, because they don’t know,” said Tose.