PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Students at McClure Elementary School in Philadelphia returned to class Wednesday following asbestos cleanup. Side-by-side tests conducted by the school district and the teachers union shows that the school in Hunting Park is safe for the students to return.
“The students are excited, the staff is excited, welcome back McClure,” teacher Lisa Handy said.
And while teachers and parents like to see their children learning in school again, many still have lingering concerns.
“I did what I could to try and keep the education going at home,” parent Jasmine Santiago said. “Obviously, the trust is not fully there.”
Veronica Bing-Perry did not allow her son to return to his kindergarten class Wednesday.
“This is awful, the school is not ready,” Bing-Perry said. “His room was actually one of the rooms affected. We’re in the city, they look at our community, they really don’t care.”
The Philadelphia School District met with parents Tuesday to answer questions. Officials say a basement classroom and the attic remain sealed and off-limits.
Asbestos abatement, they say, will continue in those areas after school hours and then will be completed this summer.
Deputy Chief of Communications Monica Lewis says no work will be done while the students and staff are in the school, but many parents find that plan unacceptable.
Bing-Perry says the children should be relocated until the asbestos is fully removed.
Still, the district says the building does not pose an imminent hazard to the health and well-being of students and staff and is ready to be open.
And until clean up is fully complete, testing in coordination with the Philadelphia teachers union will continue.