New Brockton school officials are scratching their heads over what might have made eight students sick recently. The students reported to Medical Center Enterprise on Aug. 15 complaining of headaches, nausea, and dizziness, and tests showed the youngsters had elevated levels of carbon monoxide in their bodies.
To their credit, school officials took all the right steps in evacuating the gymnasium and then closing the school so investigators attempted to track down the source of the gas.
However, four different tests for carbon monoxide over several days, in both the school building and buses, turned up no source of carbon monoxide. In fact, tests targeted nine different types of gas that could produce similar symptoms. Zip. Nada.
Students returned to school on Monday with officials satisfied that whatever the cause, it wasn’t a gas leak. So far, no other reports of illness have been made.
That doesn’t mean all is well – there are still eight students who were sickened in the same way at the same time, likely from the same source. Officials with the school system, the county Emergency Management Agency, and the state Department of Public Health must pursue every avenue to determine the culprit, and hope no more students become ill in the meantime.