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Parents ‘livid’ after children hospitalized following Spooner Middle School evacuation

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 6:54 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - After an “epoxy-like” smell sickened dozens of students and staff at Spooner Middle School on Wednesday, parents said they are angry and have questions.

Lauren Marley’s daughter, Kaylie, is a 6th-grade student at Spooner Elementary.

When the school district notified parents to pick up their students Wednesday, Lauren Marley said Kaylie wasn’t at the school when her grandma was supposed to pick her up.

“After my mom searched and searched and searched she finally could find someone that could locate her. At that point in time they said the EMS had picked her up put her into the back of the EMS and drove her to the Spooner hospital,” Marley said.

Marley said doctors informed her Kaylie had been slipping in and out of consciousness and was incoherent.

Later, she was transferred to a Duluth hospital.

“We didn’t know nothing at all, we didn’t know what was wrong with my child,” Marley said.

Another parent, Cyrstal Streitz, said after a phone call from the Spooner School District she learned her daughter, Savannah Johnson, was hospitalized.

Streitz said she didn’t know what was wrong or what happened until she talked to Johnson’s doctors.

“It was about a good 45 minutes to an hour before they told me it was carbon monoxide poisoning,” Streitz said.

Streitz said her daughter’s face was beat-red and she had difficulty breathing.

Both parents told us their doctors said the two girls had carbon monoxide poisoning.

“It’s just devastating,” Streitz said.

Kaylie Marley has been released from the hospital, according to her mom.

Savannah Johnson was released from the hospital, as of Thursday night, according to her mom.

After reaching out to the Spooner School District, administrators did not respond Thursday.

The district did release a press release in which they said, “... Our greatest concern is for the wellbeing of our students and staff members[...].”

We also reached out to the Spooner School Board. Only one member responded and told us they had no comment.

In all, 44 students and staff were treated after starting to feel ill Wednesday.

24 of them were students and 20 were staff.

The investigation into what caused the smell is still ongoing.

Marley and Streitz decided to talk to lawyers, who referenced the Wisconsin Department of Safety guidelines on carbon monoxide detectors.

It states that any multi-use, residential areas require a detector. However, places like schools where no one permanently resides, a detector is not mandated.

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