FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — Students touring schools in one South Carolina county saw safety and health concerns at one high school, including moldy carpet that teachers rip out rather than let students walk on it.

The Morning News of Florence reports that the student facilities committee of Florence School District One found those problems at West Florence High School.

During a one-hour tour last week, students saw mold in classrooms, missing ceiling tiles, unmounted projectors, a makeshift bulletin board from cardboard and cracks in the floor.

"The carpets that have mold in them, some teachers are having to rip them up themselves, sand down the floor themselves, so that the students can walk on it and not get mold on their feet," said Reagan Dunnam, a junior at West Florence.

Lionel Brown, the assistant superintendent for administrative services at Florence School District One, said when schools have a mold problem, the district gets an indoor air quality professional to check the location.

About 1,800 students attend West Florence, which has a capacity of 1,500. Students said some classrooms are split by a built-in wall. Some administrators use closets as offices, they said.

Students on the facilities committee said one of their goals is to advise policymakers from students' perspectives.

During public participation at the February school board meeting, Dunnam and another student spoke about problems they see at West Florence and turned over pictures of the school.

The student facilities committee toured South Florence in January and will tour Wilson during the next meeting. Students said they want each other to understand the needs at each school.

At the end of the year, the committee plans to submit a list of needs from the three high schools and the career center to the school board.

Andrew Cummings, West Florence's student facilities committee adviser, said students are learning how to view ideas from different perspectives, collaborate and lead.

"The kids each care a great deal about their schools and want to improve them for a better future," Cummings said.


Information from: Morning News, http://www.scnow.com