LAS VEGAS - A Las Vegas middle school is back in session nearly a week after a mercury discovery forced more than 1,000 students into a quarantine that lasted overnight.

The Clark County School District said Tuesday that  98.4 percent of the more than 1,300 students returned to school Tuesday.

A few dribbles of the neurotoxin known as mercury was first found on campus last Wednesday morning.  It prompted a hazmat situation that lasted until 5 a.m. Thursday.

It was the largest decontamination effort in the history of the school district and the Las Vegas fire department.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the cleanup effort has yielded more than a quarter cup of the element.

Officials say the campus has been fully decontaminated though they're still investigating how the mercury got to the school.

In the meantime, parents 8 News NOW spoke with said they're worried about the mercury contamination, but they want their children to continue their education.

"I'm scared to bring my son back to school," said Jose Volonte, parent.

"I don't feel safe at all," said Lori Varga, parent.

Students were concerned as well.

"I was sort of nervous coming back to school," said Julian Guizar, a student.

However, some parents trust that all is well, and are just relieved the ordeal seems to be over.

"I'm relieved, you know," said Eric Larson, parent.  "It was waiting for the phone call every day from the school trying to figure out what's going.  It rattles you a little bit."

Clark County School District officials say they are looking to make changes on handling future emergencies.  Parents remain frustrated at the lack of communication, so they're going straight to CCSD officials for answers.

"He (speaking about a CCSD spokesperson) also said they talked about some ideas of having some kind of monitor outside of the school, so if there is an incident, then we can get regular updates," said Rose Hall, parent.

The school's gym, where the mercury was first spotted, remains closed.  Sections of the floor were even removed during the clean up.

CCSD says a student is to blame for the contamination, but they have not identified the child.

"Some of the preliminary reports are leaning toward the student factor, but again, we want to pinpoint which students were involved; how many and locations," said Mike Barton, Chief Student Achievement Officer, CCSD.

Although it's unclear where the mercury came from, the EPA found a quarter of a cup of the liquid metal on campus.  Parents and students 8 News NOW spoke with say they just want to move on from this experience, and they hope this doesn't happen again.

"I've never seen anything like it before, to be honest with you but it is what it is, I guess," said Eric Larson, parent.

"Academics come first, so I mean we just have to figure out how to make it work," Hall said.

"I do want to come back, so I don't have to spend more time making up for it during the summer," Julian said.

As for how the students will make up the three days of classes they missed during the mercury scare, CCSD says it's still considering election day and the days leading up to Thanksgiving as the days the students may use to make it up.


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