PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Another Philadelphia school is tainted by asbestos. It was discovered last month, but students have not been moved. Now some parents are taking matters into their own hands.
The School District of Philadelphia will meet with parents on Monday, but many are angry it’s taken so long for the school district to take action.
“They just don’t need to be there,” parent Tamitra Foreman said. “It’s unhealthy. It’s wrong.”
Parents of children who attend Peirce Thomas M. School in North Philadelphia are fed up. The School District of Philadelphia says asbestos was found in pipe insulation in the basement hallway. Foreman’s 10-year-old daughter attends the elementary school.
“The school district is not playing their part,” Foreman said. “The school district dropped the ball when they did not inform the parents of what was going on within the school.”
The district says abatement work is complete, but it’ll hold another meeting with parents on Monday at 3:30 p.m. inside the school.
State Sen. Sharif Street toured the elementary school and says he has his own concerns.
“If you have to move the kids, that makes sense,” Street said, “but that’s really up to the district. I just want to make sure that they do it safe and the current situation is unacceptable.”
Antione Little agrees with the senator. In fact, Little removed all three of his children from the school.
Students from two Center City schools were all relocated once the toxic mineral was discovered in their schools.
Little believes parents in North Philly are not being treated fairly.
“When you go to SLA and Ben Franklin, Dr. [William] Hite came out. He had several meetings at Ben Franklin and SLA to talk to those parents about what was going on in the schools,” Little said. “What, we as parents, we don’t qualify to hear from the head of the school? Or someone from the board because of where we come from?”
Little says he’ll continue to fight to make sure students in North Philly will learn in safe environments without the fear of grave health risks.
“Our children shouldn’t have to suffer because of their economic backgrounds,” Little said.
The building housing Ben Franklin/SLA was thought to be able to reopen in January, but that has been pushed back now to February or March — at the earliest.
Both school communities held a joint task force meeting earlier this week to discuss options with families.
The task force will meet again on Dec. 13.