Drexel Prep Students Return to Class After Carbon Monoxide Scare - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Drexel Prep Students Return to Class After Carbon Monoxide Scare

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by Emily Luxen

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  - Students at Drexel Preparatory Academy headed back to class Thursday, after many were sickened by carbon monoxide poisoning earlier in the week.

Their parents also returned to school to check out safety improvements made to the building since the scare.

School officials said a heating unit malfunctioned, and began emitting carbon monoxide.  The school's detectors weren't close enough to the unit to be able to alert administrators to the problem until it was too late.  About 40 students were hospitalized.

For Tamika Lee and her son Jacques, it was a scary ordeal.

"He came home about 1 p.m. and was explaining what happened at school.  Then he passed out," said Lee. "Carbon Monoxide is something that comes out of the exhaust pipe of a car, so that was scary for me."

Drexel Principal Dr. Cheryl Bowman said now the school has added 15 carbon monoxide detectors, fixed the broken heating unit, and sanitized the building.  She invited parents to tour the building so they could see the changes and not worry about their children.

"I think now we feel secure," said Dr. Bowman. "I think the monitors we purchased will make parents and faculty and staff know they are safe."

Tennessee state law doesn't require carbon monoxide detectors in schools.  Currently, there are no detectors in any Metro Nashville Public Schools.  Officials have said they are open to discussing the issue.

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