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Band Director on paid leave amid asbestos scare

Parents of students in the Deshler High School band want the band director reinstated.

Posted: Aug 14, 2018 9:19 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2018 10:36 PM

Parents of Deshler High School students in Tuscumbia called on the school district to let the band director continue to teach their kids.

Craig Weeks is currently on paid administrative leave.

The district won't tell us why, but they did tell us they are handling a possible asbestos situation in the band room.

Band students still can't go inside their bandroom while asbestos tests are concluded.

While some parents WAAY 31 talked to said they're upset their children could have been exposed to asbestos they're even more upset over how the district is handling the situation.

According to parent Katie Herron the asbestos scare started a few weeks ago when carpet in the band room was lifted up during renovations to reveal older tile.

We know some students helped pull up the carpet and tile in the band room.

"We feel like he's bein' railroaded about something that's not even really his fault," said Herron.

Herron said Weeks told his superiors about the older tile and was simply given new tile to replace the old tile while students were still allowed in the band room for two weeks.

"We don't feel like he's done anything wrong or ever put a kid in harms way," said Herron.

The district told WAAY 31 air quality tests show no signs of asbestos from the carpet, but they're waiting on results from tests of the tile.

The district will not comment on the paid leave of Weeks, because it is a personnel matter.

Meanwhile, the kids are continuing on with an interim band director.

"Our kids are working hard. They're out here every day putting a hundred and fifty percent in, because they want to put that show on and they want to do it for mr. Weeks to show him that they still love band and they want to play, but they want to play for him," said Herron.

Their hearts are heavy because of everything the 14 year veteran band director means to the program.

"He helps us raise these kids and they don't think of him as their teacher, or their band director. He's a second dad. He's a mentor. He's a friend," said Herron.

Weeks doesn't just provide that kind of leadership.

According to parents he can also provide a leg up for the future.

"He can get them exposure they need, honor bands they need, scholarship tryouts they need," said Herron.

Parents WAAY 31 talked to said they just want the school district to reinstate Mr. Weeks quickly, so their students don't miss out on opportunities.

The district did not say how long Weeks may be on paid leave.

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