A mysterious sickness is causing a growing crisis at a North Arlington junior high school. The principal has been replaced; however, as many as 60 teachers and an untold number of students have reported a similar sickness while at the school.
Teachers and students from Nichols Junior High have all reported a similar sickness, including dizziness, nausea and difficulty concentrating. It is reported that many teachers have passed out during class. According to sources, some are refusing to return to work, while others request immediate transfers.
Some teachers have even begun to hold classes outside, for the safety of the students.
Arlington ISD first responded to the complaints six weeks after principal Julie Harcrow was rushed to the hospital after nearly fainting in the office. Staff of the school say Harcrow was an advocate for the school and was insistent that the district find and fix the mysterious problem.
AISD has since removed Harcrow from her position, without notice or reason. They’re now facing legal challenges, as Harcrow has hired an attorney.
They sent a letter home that stated: “A few staff members reported feeling ill,” but air tests have been conducted and nothing is wrong with the school. They also say their records “do not indicate any unusual number of absences or clinic visits.”
While AISD stand firm that nothing out of the ordinary is happening at the school. Staff and limited parents say otherwise, while many parents have no idea that the crisis is so large.
Dr. Alisa Rich, an assistant professor at the University of North Texas’ School of Public Health, says most of the staff have requested her assistance in finding answers; however, AISD had her escorted off campus during a meeting regarding the wide-spread illness.
Rich also serves as 1 of 38 scientists for the World Health Organization’s Chemical Risk Assessment Network, that develops guidelines to reduce the risk of chemical exposures.