Students return to Hokes Bluff Middle School - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Students return to Hokes Bluff Middle School

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Hokes Bluff Middle School students returned to their normal classes Monday morning for the beginning of the Spring semester.

The board of education closed the campus the final six days of the fall semester after several students became sick December 12.  There were no classes the day after the incident, and classes met at the elementary school and First Baptist Church for the final week of the Fall semester.

"We're glad to get school going back there this morning," superintendent Alan Cosby said Monday.

Nine students initially went to the hospital after having difficulty breathing.  Nearly 20 others later went for evaluation.

Doctors admitted five for overnight observation, but sent all of them home within 48 hours without diagnosing a specific illness.

The first students who got sick with difficulty breathing were in a physical education class, but Cosby said investigators are uncertain if physical activity started any symptoms.

"I can't say 100 percent that it was this, that it was that," he said.  "one thing that our report indicated is that nothing could be tied back to one single thing."

Inspectors from the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and a hazardous materials team collected samples but all results were inconclusive.

"The safety of our students and our employees is of utmost concern so we want to make sure that we had done everything we could do.  The building has been deemed suitable for occupancy by all the aforementioned groups," Cosby said.

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