Dongola Rash Persists After Cleaning

Classes will continue as scheduled Tuesday morning in the Dongola school district, despite continuing problems with a mysterious rash.
This weekend, health officials sealed off the fifth and sixth grade classrooms where the rash seemed to originate. Cleaning crews then came in to scrub every surface.

"We value the children's health, safety, and academics equally. We're not going to take a chance with any of those things," says Dongola Principal Jennifer Flowers. But by the end of the school day on Monday, at least a dozen children went home after complaining of itching and burning skin.

"It just burns without me scratching it," 6th-grader Jake Hubbs tells Heartland news. Jake left school early Monday when the rash showed up on his left arm. Last week, it was on his neck. "They need to shut down the school and clean the whole school," Jake suggests.

And some parents agree. Patti Williamson kept her children out of school. "Let's not purposely infect anybody else," Williamson says. She wants the district to shut down the school for the rest of the week while more testing is done.

Father of three Bruce Lannom kept his kids home and agrees with Williamson. "To me, you've got one building. It doesn't matter what's in one part. It will eventually make it to another part," Lannom says.

Principal Flowers says the district won't hesitate to close school again, if leaders feel it's necessary. Both school officials and parents have contacted the environmental protection agency.

It's hoped the agency will send a representative by the end of the week.