High levels of suspected toxins force the shut down of 2 Franklin Elementary Schools

Carlos 5 30 Sunrise Franklin Hit 3 21
Carlos 630 Franklin Update 3-21

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WTHR) — New safety concerns tonight for parents with children at two Franklin elementary schools.

13 Investigates has learned a new round of testing uncovered high levels of toxins within Webb and Needham elementary schools, prompting Franklin Community Schools to close them tomorrow.

These are the same two schools that were tested last August before the start of the school year. District officials reported just trace amounts of volatile organic compounds then after soil testing around the school and under the concrete sub slab.

Tonight, the district alerted parents that Thursday will be an e-learning day for just those two schools, after EnviroForensics released preliminary results of air sampling.

Three of seven samples at Webb were above the Indiana Department of Environmental Management screening levels. Two out of 10 samples at Needham were above IDEM’s safe screening levels.

Concerned parents shared the school's communication about the matter with 13 Investigates.

In a press release, school spokesperson Robin Betts wrote, "student and staff safety is our number one priority. Out of an abundance of caution, FCS will be implementing an E-Learning Day tomorrow."

During spring break, EnviroForensics will conduct additional sampling and an update will be provided a week from Thursday.