Mold at Bennett Elementary School is sickening students, teachers, parent says

Broward County health inspectors visit school Tuesday


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County health inspectors were at Bennett Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday, as a woman told Local 10 News she pulled her daughter out of the school because of an apparent mold issue.

Tiny dark spots have been photographed on ceiling air vents and on some of the walls at the elementary school.

"I had to pull my daughter out of school because of suspected mold," Summer Weinstein said. "Kids were having seizures, teachers were becoming horribly ill and I just thought, 'Hey, there's something environmental going on. I need to look into this.'"

Weinstein said the suspected toxic mold has been uncovered over the past six months at Bennett Elementary and several other schools in Broward County.

Her 9-year-old daughter with special needs is now home-schooled.

"They can't tell you they feel sick. They can't tell you their head hurts. They can't tell you, and how dare they put these children in that position," Weinstein said. 

Local 10 News reporter Terrell Forney spotted a cleaning crew at Bennett Elementary on Tuesday, the same day county health inspectors visited the campus.

In fact, school board records shows mold remediation work has been conducted at the elementary school several times since the summer of 2016.

But Weinstein believes it's only patchwork and the mold is either covered up or never fully removed.

She said the school's own teachers have filed complaints, but are afraid to speak out publicly.

"They're afraid of retaliation. They're afraid of losing their jobs, yet they're forced to work in these sick buildings," Weinstein said. 

Weinstein hopes to convince the school board to make a healthy, powerful change.

"I want to let them know they're not going to get away with this," she said. 

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