District says vents cleaned inside Bellevue Middle; parents stil - WSMV News 4

District says vents cleaned inside Bellevue Middle; parents still concerned

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A teacher shared this photo of an air vent in the trash. (Photo submitted) A teacher shared this photo of an air vent in the trash. (Photo submitted)

The Channel 4 I-Team has received feedback since reporting on filthy conditions in one Metro school.

One teacher went as far as to secretly record videos and send them to the I-Team.

When the I-Team took those concerns to the school district, the director of schools did not want to talk about.

The I-Team has more questions after the school sent pictures showing the problem had been resolved.

In a video secretly recorded by a teacher at Bellevue Middle School, the teacher said, “I want to show you the black substance coming out of the vents.”

The teacher did not want to be identified because he is still an employee at the school.

The teacher said the black substance has been covering several vents throughout Bellevue Middle for months.

“You can see that all of the vents were heavily covered in black substance,” the teacher said.

This week, the teacher who recorded the videos was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. According to a spokesperson with Metro Schools, it was because the teacher recorded the school’s principal carrying air vents out of his classroom.

The I-Team’s repeated requests for interviews with the district were denied. When we tried to talk to Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph about it at a school board meeting this week, he wouldn’t answer our questions.

“These are pictures from inside Bellevue Middle School. Would you let your child be inside this school? Dr. Joseph, could you just take a minute and look at these photos?” asked I-Team reporter Lindsay Bramson.

While Metro Schools won't do an on-camera interview about it, a spokesperson for the district said in a text message the teacher stole some of the air vents.

But the teacher said he was taking an air vent that was in the trash so that he can get it officially tested for mold. Something neither the health department nor the district said they did when complaints were made.

“I'm grateful because I just don't feel like we alone can fight the school system,” said Dana Tiblier, who pulled her daughter out of Bellevue Middle School because she said she kept getting sick.

An ambulance was called four times for Tiblier’s daughter Amaya for severe asthma attacks at school on four different occasions.

The I-Team has learned Tiblier is not the only parent who has complained. In an email from another parent to the principal of Bellevue Middle School in March, the parent said, "There are a lot of parents concerned and are wondering what is being done."

School officials say they cleaned the vents back in March and sent us several pictures taken this week showing what appear to be much cleaner vents.

But when we asked to come see the vents for ourselves, a spokesperson said in a text message, "We will pass," followed by another text that read, "We're done."

“It's not just about our child. It's about every person that goes into that building,” Tiblier said.

The I-Team has reached out to all the members of the Bellevue Middle School PTO to ask them about this. We've also emailed and called school board members. So far we have not heard back from any of them.

We've also heard from several more parents who all say they've also been complaining for months about the dirty vents. We're working to get interviews with them as well.

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