The school took on five to six feet of water, but Walcott said a sight review of the school showed everything was safe.
The DOE reopened the school, but many parents were afraid to send their kids back and called for mold tests to be conducted on the building.
The UFT joined them in that call.
Finally Walcott agreed and - you guessed it - the school came up positive:
Department of Education officials found mold and asbestos in a storm-damaged Queens school that last week was cleared for students to return — but only after parents insisted that the officials check.
It took scores of complaints from parents and meetings at the school before officials agreed to conduct tests for moisture and other hazards at PS 114 in Belle Harbor, which had been shut for more than a month after Hurricane Sandy.
Late yesterday, DOE officials quietly posted findings of subsequent tests online showing that areas of mold and asbestos in the auditorium and a nearby stairwell require removal.
Additionally, two of 14 water fountains showed elevated levels of copper.
In a letter to parents, Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm committed to removing the mold and asbestos over the coming two weekends.
Great - not just mold, but asbestos and elevated levels of copper in the water.
But Dennis Walcott said he had the results of all the necessary tests for PS 114 in hand and that he KNEW the school was safe.
It turns out Walcott was wrong.
Just as was the case at PS 51 where Walcott and the DOE continued to send students and staff to a school that they knew to be unsafe (in the case of PS 51, with cancer-causing toxins), Walcott and the DOE have sent Rockaway children and school staff into harm's way at PS 114 for god knows what reason.
Walcott was on record last week as saying the following:
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the water is safe.
"It's part of people's perception that it hasn't been tested," Walcott said. "But it's being tested on a regular basis by the Department of Environmental Protection. That's for the community and the school is part of that community.
Oh, yeah the water is safe - except for the elevated levels of copper in two water fountains.
Teacher, why does my mouth taste like old pennies?
Walcott's refusal to test 114 for mold and other harmful toxins was unconscionable and you can bet those tests never would have happened had the parents, the union and the media not jumped all over him for refusing to conduct them.
Now it behooves everybody to watch closely and make sure the DOE follows up on the testing and removes the mold, asbestos, and copper.
It is not beyond reason to describe Dennis Walcott as one of the worst human beings on the planet.
Seriously, to refuse to test PS 114 for mold after all that storm damage and send kids back in to the school when all it was going to cost was the price of one DOE consultant overrun to test the place is beyond the pale.
The chancellor is happy to spend hundreds of millions on standardized testing but didn't want to spend $50,000 on mold tests - even though kids were back in the school and could get sick from the mold.
Really, one of the worst human beings on the planet.
Here was Walcott and the UFT people right down the block and they never came to visit. I have a basement for them to clean out, the most productive thing they would have done in years.ReplyDelete
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