MARION, SC (WBTW) – Parents of students at Britton’s Neck Elementary School called News13 concerned about their children’s return to the school.

Deborah Wimberly with the Office of Public Relations for the school district told News13 the school closed due to flooding caused by Hurricane Florence.

“Britton’s Neck Elementary is being evaluated to determine if it is a safe environment for students and staff,” Wimberly wrote in an email to News13. “The students are receiving instruction by their teachers in classrooms in other school buildings within the district. Please know that our district recognizes that any transition during a school year presents some level of challenge for students and concerns for parents.”

La’Torious Owens’ two children attend Britton’s Neck, but she said they now have to go to separate schools.

“I was not happy and I’m still not happy with the fact that my kids are being bused all the way to Marion to two different schools,” said Owens. “One is at Marion Intermediate, and the other is at Easterling.”
Owens said the district made the decision to close the school, and move students without getting input from the public.
“We had to mentally prepare them [children] that they’re going to be going to a different school, and go all the way to Marion,” she said.
Wimberly released this statement to News13:
“The Britton’s Neck Elementary School became compromised after extensive flooding in the lower part of Marion County.  There was a mounting concern over the number of days students were out of the learning environment.  After being out of school for 15 days, the district was pleased to implement a plan to get our Britton’s Neck students back in to school using available space in other district schools.  Students’ morning bus routes are running very close to their original times.  All students are fed a balanced breakfast that meet the regulations as outlined by the federal lunch program. Various aspects of the building have been assessed including air quality.  The results are currently being reviewed and the district is working with companies to create a plan that will honor our commitment to the health and safety of our students and staff.  As soon as a plan is in place, it will be shared with parents.”

Laura Holden’s son is a second-grader at Britton’s Neck, and said she wants to know why students are not back in the school.

“Our concerns start with our children being bused from Creek Bridge to Marion every morning,” Holden said. “They’re used to this location. It cuts out on educational time,” she continued. “It’s just really a disruption to the children’s lives.”

 Holden said she is disappointed in the lack of communication between the school districts and parents at the school.
“This is not just our school, it’s our community,” she said. “Our main concern is just for them to come in, [and] if there is a mold issue or if there’s an air quality issue to fix those issues and to get our children back in our schools.”