Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

So Much For Putting Children First

Bloomberg and Walcott like to say they're all about the kids while the teachers union - and more pointedly, the teachers themselves - are just about perpetuating their own interests.

And yet, somehow these self-annointed Carers of Children continued to send students to a school building (PS 51) that they knew was contaminated with cancer-causing toxins.

Cuomo likes to say he is a lobbyist for students, that teachers do not care about them, only he does.

And yet Cuomo is sitting on a report about PS 51 and keeping it from the public.

The Daily News says parents want that report released:

It’s been more than two years since the Department of Education found unsafe levels of a cancer-causing chemical inside a Bronx school.

But parents of children who attended PS 51, the Bronx New School, on Jerome Ave. said they’re still waiting for a report from the state Department of Health detailing the health impacts from exposure to trichloroethene, or TCE, inside the school.

“We’re at a stalemate, we really are,” said Kelly King-Lewis, whose two daughters attended the contaminated school.

“We’re trying to move this consultation report forward and get the state to release it - but it seems like we’re pulling teeth,” she said. “It’s very, very frustrating for us.”
 One PS 51 teacher is suing the city Department of Education for birth defects her unborn child suffered while she worked at the school.

Last week, City Councilman Fernando Cabrera submitted a resolution that the state Department of Health release PS 51’s health consultation report.

Cabrera also submitted a legislative amendment that the School Construction Authority notify parents faster once it learns a school site is contaminated. The DOE waited months to tell PS 51 parents about the TCE contamination.

The DOE shuttered PS 51’s site--a former lamp factory--in 2011 after test samples revealed TCE vapors indoors were 10 times the state’s limit Last March, representatives from the DOH met with students’ parents and told them they were investigating the health effects of TCE exposure at the school, and they’d publish a report detailing the health impacts of spending time in the contaminated school.
A DOH spokesman said he had no information to provide on the report’s release.
Even if it’s made public, the report still may not give parents answers because TCE-contamination symptoms may not show up right away, said Lenny Siegel, executive director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight.

“The chronic health risks could manifest themselves in the long-term,” Siegel said. “That’s one of the difficulties in studying it.”

Parents picking up their children Monday from the relocated PS 51, in the former St Martin of Tours school building on E. 182nd St., said they were concerned about how the toxins were affecting their kids.

Anna Jimenez, whose nine year old son went to school in the Jerome Ave. building for two years, wondered whether her son’s health would get worse in the future.

“There’s no guarantee that something might come out later on,” she said.

And another mother questioned whether the colds, headaches and behavioral problems her second grade daughter suffered while at the old site was related to exposure to TCE.

“I am very, very outraged,” the woman said. “We don’t know the long-range effects of this.”

Why is the state DOH sitting on the report and keeping it from parents and public?

Why did Bloomberg and Walcott knowingly send children and adult staff to a building contaminated with cancer-causing toxins for at least six months after they knew about the contamination?

Why won't Cuomo force the DOH to release the report?

The fix is in once again, folks.

These self-appointed Carers of Children and Lobbyists for Students are in the business of covering their own asses rather than protecting the children in their care or holding themselves accountable when they fail to do that.

How many children and adults will get sick because of Bloomberg and Walcott's callousness?

How many will die?

Who will hold Bloomberg and Walcott accountable?

Certainly not Cuomo, who doesn't seem to be forcing the DOH to get that report out ASAP.

So much for putting children first.

So much for being a lobbyist for students.

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