Some parents and students are still unclear about what is being done, if anything at all, to address the health and environmental issues at the Basseterre High School. The problems that led to a faculty strike last year have reared their ugly heads once more and have seemingly triggered symptoms of itching, respiratory and other symptoms among staff and students . Some students told the Observer that they have no clue as to what is happening regarding addressing the environmental health issues at the school and that they have not been given information about what steps would be taken. Several students said they have been hearing parents, teachers and other adults talking about the problem but to date the school administrators have not raised the issue with them. “We see our classmates getting sick, hearing the school might close down, teachers out sick with things on their skin, the place is contaminated- but no one has come to us to say this or that is the case,”one BHS student said. “This concerns us. We are at the school every day, we aren’t stupid, we know something is going on with this whole contamination thing again and they need to tell us what is what.”The lack of information seems odd considering that at the start of the week, the Education Minister Hon. Nigel Carty gave assurances that the ministry will be renewing its relationship with all the stakeholders on this issue, including the Teachers Union and Parents Teachers Association (PTA) to address the problems at the school. PTA president Walwyn Chiverton is the liaison person who will act as a mediator among the stakeholders. The minister’s latest comment however, contradict his previous statement blasting the Teachers Union and dermatologist Dr. Thelma Phillip-Browne. In that statement some two weeks ago, Minister Carty suggested that Dr. Phillip-Browne and Teachers Union President Ron Collins were colluding to have teachers call a strike in protest of the health issues at the school. But in a media interview after last week’s PTA meeting, Minister Carty said: ” Acceptance is part of resolution of problems. Whatever evidence you think that you have or could bring to bear, you must move forward on faith that this has been said, I accept it as the truth and an important part of moving the process and discussion forward.”The BHS situation appears in a state of apoplexy and there have not been any public statements on the way forward. The Teachers Union, when contacted, indicated that it could not address the matter as an agreement was made among the stakeholders that a joint release would be issued, even prior to the minister’s statement. One parent has publicly voiced his concerns about the situation. Nurish Nital, a trained chemist, told The Observer that he has not been given any information with respect to arresting or mitigating the problem. “It’s just the same circular information with the antagonistic environment that exists between the various stakeholders and mostly by those in authoritative positions on both sides,”Mr. Nital said. Nital has a daughter in fourth form at the school and is very concerned about her well-being. He however acknowledged that the problem is not a quick fix. He suspects that the problem at the school is that of fungal spores which derive from certain environmental conditions at the school and may require a complete breaking down of the current buildings and rebuilding the school. This would also require burying some materials underground and rebuilding. He does not foresee this heavy capital investment being undertaken by the government at this time. “Whether they will push it down and do some reconstruction, it is left to be seen, but it is going to be heavily capital intensive to get the overall arresting measures taken,”Nital said. He reasoned that this is a long term solution which must be implemented to address the problem permanently. As for his daughter, he said she will continue to go to the school. “Maybe by now she would have built up some slight immunity to what is going on…I don’t think that the effect on her is as drastic as it used to be when it started out so taking her out the school is not an option but I am thinking about everybody else and those who might not have been affected as yet,”Nital said.