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Humidity problem steams South Effingham band parent
Members of the South Effingham band exercise before starting practice on Aug. 8, the day it was discovered that some of their uniforms and instruments were damaged by mold or mildew.

The Effingham County Board of Education hit a sour note with a South Effingham High School band parent.

Peggy Tuttle criticized the board during Thursday night's board meeting for not immediately informing band parents that their children have been exposed to questionable air quality since the new school year started. On Aug. 8, it was discovered that the Marching Mustangs' uniforms, kept in a room adjacent to where the band practices, were damaged by mold or mildew.

"I'm sure you are all aware of the excess humidity and the change in energy conservation that was taken on by the school system over the summer to shut down the air conditioner and not run it as often," Tuttle said. "I'm not too sure about the particulars of that, but I know that was part of the issue that turned into a mold or mildew issue. "I don't think we have a definite (answer) of what is on everything, but it looks like mold, smells like mold -- something."

Tuttle thanked the board and South Effingham principal Mark Winters for acting quickly to correct the problem. However, she voiced her displeasure about a "lack of communication.

""Good or bad, if you let people know what's going on, it combats a lot of rumors," she said. "Unfortunately, I found out there was a mold issue -- or a whatever issue -- by my children (on Aug. 11). They told me they had to move things out of the band room to prepare for it to be cleaned due to the mold. They said things had to be thrown away, and that was the first I'd heard of it.Tuttle challenged the board to develop a policy about informing parents about mold threats in schools.
"A lot of parents did not even know there was a mold issue," she said. "And it's not like it's a tiny issue ... Mold can be very devastating to health and equipment.

"It's not just mold."

See the Aug. 23 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.