Sebring Schools reopen amid parental concerns

sebring ohio schools reopen


SEBRING, Ohio (WKBN) – Sebring schools reopened Wednesday morning for the first time since the Sebring water crisis.

But parents have been e-mailing WKBN, saying they are still worried for their children’s safety.

Sebring Schools missed three days of classes, but were back at it Wednesday.

Drinking fountains where unsafe levels of lead were found are turned off. The school is providing bottled water for students to drink and for cooks to use in the kitchen.

But some parents are concerned the school is still not safe. Parents told First News they have been asking for the exact numbers from the test results, and Superintendent Toni Viscounte, who has put the results for BL Miller Elementary and McKinley Junior/Senior High School online.

Some parents said any levels of lead have them worried.

“I would like to kind of clarify that for everyone, zero, according to them, is anything between zero and 4.99,” Viscounte said. “And then above 5 up to 15 is considered acceptable. And everything above 15 is unacceptable.”

Viscounte said she hopes all the steps she has taken here at the school, like bagging off drinking fountains that have any amount of lead in them, even if it’s at the federal allowable limit of lead, puts parents’ minds at ease.

And the changes Viscounte is making in the schools is really adding up. She bought 150 cases of bottled water, 10 bottles of hand sanitizer, and paid to have a plumber pull out all of the water fountains that may have contributed to putting lead in the water.

“We do not have a fund for this. So at some point I’m probably going…to see if there’s any plumbers that are willing to do some work in kind, to kind of help us out with that, because we did have a levy fail. So we do have a money issue here,” Viscounte said.

For now the school is using a general fund to make those purchases.

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