Single open school district in Acadiana sends students home after claims of no running water in buildings

St. Mary Parish

ST. MARY PARISH, LA., (KLFY) – The St. Mary Parish school district is facing criticism after the administration decided to open schools back up despite possible problems.

According to the administration, one building had to have water carried in off campus in 5-gallon buckets. There are claims several buildings in the district had little to no running water or low water pressure and elementary school students had to wait in long lines to use the bathroom.

“This was just totally negligent in my opinion,” St. Mary Parish Council Member Craig A. Mathews said. “We knew the water pressure would not be up in time to have these children return to school today.”

The St. Mary Parish school district was the only district open in Acadiana on Feb. 18, 2021, following a major winter storm.

Now, the district is facing major problem many are having to deal with across the southern states. Low water pressure is proving to be a problem.

School Board administration staff members say each individual school principal within the district reported any concern’s to them. There were no major problems, so the administration decided to open back up.

“Our assessment showed our school buildings were ready to go. So that’s the basis of our decision. Not what other schools are doing, but what we are capable of providing for our kids,” Superintendent Dr. Teresa Bagwell said.

Dr. Bagwell said the school district will reopen tomorrow on Friday, Feb. 19. The district later put out a press release closing schools for Friday.

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