Stanly County Schools officials say an elementary school is safe for students and teachers after mold was discovered growing on the walls, desks and chairs this past summer.
Officials said a teacher first discovered the problem in late August, and notified janitorial staff they found a "grayish" mold on students’ desks and chairs.
Crews cleaned the school thoroughly, but a state investigator from the Department of Public Instructor discovered the mold continued to grow back in two classrooms.
In a letter to district officials obtained by Channel 9, the state engineer blamed the recurring mold issue, which he said has lasted for "a couple years," on a poor ventilating system in the school, which was built in 1916.
The investigator recommended a new HVAC system, which would cost more than $600,000.
Because the district could not afford that, officials said they fixed the problem by using dehumidifiers in the affected areas. Officials also said the mold has not grown back since the summer.
The district did not notify parents or students about the recurring problem because officials said it occurred before the school year began, and that no students were ever exposed to the mold.
When Channel 9 shared the news with some parents on Thursday, many were upset.
"It's disappointing to think our leadership doesn't seem more concerned about teachers and students," said Sid Fields, whose 7-year-old grandson is a student at Badin.
State officials told Eyewitness News that the mold was not toxic or dangerous and did not cause any health issues for students or staff.
Still, some worry the mold will come back -- and aren't convinced by the district's explanation.
"Who knows if a little bit is going to hurt them or not?" said grandparent Mary Eash. "Even if a little bit is found, the parents and kids need to know about it."