Foul odor ruffling nostrils at 1 New Haven school

New Haven

A foul odor permeating one New Haven school is leaving some students and teachers gasping.

The smelly situation is bubbling up the toilets in some classrooms at Nathan Hale School in the Morris Cove section of the city. Marissa Cullen said she was left gagging for air while visiting her 5-year-old son’s class.

“The bathroom in my son’s kindergarten class rivals the smell of a New York City subway,” Cullen said. “It’s atrocious. It’s nauseating. I don’t know how they deal with it on a daily basis.” 

It’s unclear what is causing the foul odor.

News 8 got late word Monday from a school board source the district’s chief operating officer was on campus looking into the problem.

“Teachers think that it’s a sewer issue,” according to Cullen.

The stench is primarily impacting kindergarten classrooms in the school’s basement, Cullen told News 8’s Mario Boone. “So, you have the absolute most vulnerable children being exposed to this noxious smell,” she explained. 

Cullen said she reached out to Mayor Toni Harp’s office, the school board chair, Darnell Goldson and Superintendent Carol Birks looking for answers. “I’ve literally had absolutely no response,” she said, with frustration as clear as day on her face.

News 8 also didn’t get a response from the superintendent, nor authorities with the New Haven Dept. of Public Health. Goldson and the local teachers union did respond, but were unable to elaborate on the problem.

In addition, only News 8 obtained a copy of an email sent from the school’s principal, Tara Cass, to a parent acknowledging the smell. Her email continued by explaining a work order was submitted “to see if there is an underlying issue” and “we are aware and working on it.”

Cullen concluded by telling us she is concerned about her son’s health since being exposed to the odor.

“I want it eradicated,” she demanded.

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