Kanawha Co. School to Use Bottled Water for Remainder of School Year

DIAMOND, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- For the first time since the West Virginia water crisis, schools across Kanawha County are finally getting the green light to use the water for drinking and cooking.

It's been nearly two months since the chemical spill into the Elk River in Charleston, but not every school is going back to the tap.

School officials at Midland Trail Elementary in Diamond, W.Va., say they will only be using bottled water for at least the rest of the school year.

"Our worry was some of the parents were OK with letting their children use the water, and some were not," fifth-grade teacher Cindy Schilling said. "So, we as a staff did not want to have to every day police the water and make sure only those children use it that are allowed to."

Parents and concerned community members went all out, donating 870 gallons of bottled water to keep students and staff from having to go back to the tap.

"Seeing social media, you're seeing people all over the affected area worried about this," Schilling said, "but you don't hear our parents worried because our parents have the reassurance that were not using the water at all."

For Midland Trail Head Cook Lora Young, the donation comes as a big relief.

"It made me very happy because I've been very concerned about it," Young said. "That's what it's about. Those babies out there ... keeping them safe."

And while they may be young, it's clear the students already understand the situation.

"I think it means they really care about us and they don't want us to get sick," fifth-grade student Alexis Newman said. "I have asthma, and my doctor doesn't want me to use it or anything, and they don't know what could happen in ten years. So, I'm really glad they did this."

Several staff members at Midland Trail have also personally funded water testing at the school.

WSAZ.com has learned that testing was completed Tuesday night, and the results will be sent to the Kanawha County Schools Superintendent.

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