Since the news broke, parents have been worrying over whether it is safe to send their children to school, where one third of teachers say there have been instances of thyroid cancer, skin disease and other serious illnesses.
"Insignificant or not, as a parent, you’re raising concerns and you want answers and you feel like there is no possibility of any problem," said Seth Jacobson, whose son attends MHS.
The demand for action was sent by a number of groups, including Malibu High School PTSA, The Shark Fund, members of the MHS Site Council, Malibu Special Education Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Malibu, and Advocates for Malibu Public Schools (AMPS).
The letter, which was sent to the SMMUSD the district and the school board, states:
"We strongly encourage the district to take immediate action to protect the health and safety of our community, and recommend the following steps:
- Relocate- Relocate Building-E classrooms to trailers or another location until we confirm the school grounds are safe.
- Educate- Hold a public town-hall forum to educate and assure the community that the district views the safety issue as its highest priority and has a plan to resolve the concerns.
- Communicate- Appoint a district liaison to keep us informed and promptly respond to our inquiries. The first step—relocation—is urgent.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District hired an environmental consultants have been hired to look into recent construction and moldy classrooms.
"We know they are safe, just as much as you know that your house is safe,'' Superintendent Sandra Lyon told City News Service. "As far as we know, those rooms are safe.''
Tests for mold and other contaminants began Sept. 20.
The complaints came after the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District hired contractors who dug up and carted away 1,017 cubic yards of dirt contaminated by carcinogenic PCBs, lead and pesticides, apparently the legacy of years of treatment for termites at a 50-year-old section of the school.
The teachers’ concerns centered on older buildings used for visual arts, music and drama at the 1,120-student combined middle school and high school, on a bluff above Zuma Beach at 30215 Morning View Drive.
-City News Service contributed to this report.
Are you sending your child to school at Malibu High School? What are your concerns? Tell us in the comments.