Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Accountability For The Schools But Not For The DOE Bureaucrats As The Children Of PS 51 Were Exposed To Toxic Chemicals & Tweed Did Nothing About It.

The DOE's motto is "children first. Always". Of course the reality Link is much different. The DOE knew since January that the air in PS 51 in the Bronx had dangerous levels of the highly toxic and probable carcinogen, Trichloroethylene (TCE). For six months the DOE unbelievably sat on the report while 300 children in PS 51 repeatedly breathed in the TCE. It now appears that the school was built on a site that was an abandoned industrial plant and the DOE apparently never bothered to do an environmental study to ensure the site was safe for children.

PS 51 was built two decades ago and thousands of children who went to the school may have been exposed to the cancer causing TCE and who knows what health problems these children have and will suffer from over the years. If you like to know about the health effects of prolonged exposure to TCE, read here. While few DOE bureaucrats responsible for the travesty of locating a school in an environmental disaster area are with the agency now, an investigation should be done to find out who was responsible and fire them if they still work for the City or the DOE. Their selecting a potential environmentally dangerous site to put a school in is not only environmentally wrong but even criminal if you ask me.

What is even worse, is that the DOE knew in January the results of the air tests and did not immediately take action by evacuating the students and staff and let them breath in the cancerous TCE. This is unconscionable and the DOE bureaucrats responsible or not releasing the report and for their failure to evacuate the children from PS 51 should be fired.

Where is the DOE "accountability" to allow these children to be exposed to a cancer causing chemical TCE for the six months? The DOE wants "accountability" from the schools and their staff but when it comes to their own "accountability" the Chancellor and his minions believe it doesn't apply to them.

"Children last. Always" when it comes to the students of PS 51.


Anonymous said...

...and don't forget the TEN (10)YEAR project by the DOE to "eliminate" PCB's(A few studies of workers indicate PCBs were associated with specific kinds of cancer in humans, such as cancer of the liver and biliary tract. PCBs also have been shown to mimic the action of estrogen in breast cancer cells and can enhance breast carcinogenesis). The people need to get rid of the cancer spreading at the DOE.

Anonymous said...

Judging by todays editorial in the Daily News Chancellor Walcott probably wishes to ERASE this failure of the DOE!!

Anonymous said...

Accountability only extends to teachers.

Angry Nog

NY_I said...

This mayor is so teflon. Here we have a potent case for a classic class action lawsuit.
This story of the DOE doing all the things that count (environmental safety, adequate school staffing) on the cheap, while the story of toxic materials in the schools has been public since early last year, and nothing's done. Just trinkles of info have gotten into the major media.
I covered this a year ago in "Toxic elements in NYC schools; nine months of inaction?" The EPA and state authorities have STILL done nada.
New York City Eye

Anonymous said...

A school I worked at, for several years, earlier this decade, has had a three deaths of people under 55. Plus I (under 50) developed cancer and another colleague (under 50), still there, has cancer; one of the deaths was from cancer.
All of these deaths and illnesses make me highly suspicious. I suspect that the DOE is sitting on the equivalent of New Jersey's cluster of Superfund sites. But under mayoral control and a magalomanical, thin-skinned mayor, I have no faith that anything will be done. Our union has got to do something about this.