Over the past few months, the discovery of asbestos, in schools, in the states of New York and New Jersey is alarming. Parents are shocked, and officials don’t seem to be alleviating concerns.
In July of this year, Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST) in the capital city of Albany, New York, was found to have asbestos during initial renovations. According to officials the asbestos has been in the school for more than 50 years and was not removed when the school underwent renovations in 1985.
Parents of the children attending All Saints Catholic Academy in Bayonne, NJ were shocked when they noticed signs posted at the school at the end of August, 2008. The signs were posted by officials on the school building’s front entrance stating only authorized personnel were permitted inside the building due to the presence of asbestos.
Further shocking news came to the parents of Public School 265 in Rockaway New York, in mid-August. Public School 265 is a special needs school for students with autism and other learning and emotional challenges. The teachers claim officials inspected the school in July, of this year, and noted the dangerous conditions. However, the summer session continued with teachers and over 100 students reporting daily until the end of the session in Mid-August. A recent Department of Education report has confirmed asbestos presence, in the school, during the July 2008 inspection.
Additionally in August, South Main Elementary School located in Pleasantville, NJ has an asbestos abatement project underway after workers located asbestos in aging floor tiles.
The month of September 2008 has brought more reports and more concerns. Parents at Heim Elementary School in Amherst, NY began expressing serious concern with the discovery of asbestos found in the floor tiles of the school. Officials at Apollo Middle School confirmed asbestos was found in the third floor building, by construction workers preparing for a renovation project. This project included a new roof and is now on hold. Recently, reports have begun surfacing, of a bidding war in Oneida, NY. Various asbestos-abatement companies are seeking to win the asbestos removal contract after asbestos-contaminated materials were discovered, at a former school on Elizabeth Street school.
The number one complaint, with renovators, regarding the proper handling and removal, of asbestos related materials is the cost. Since when do we cut corners with our children? This is a serious concern for the citizens of New York and New Jersey. Our children hold our future. When are we going to say enough is enough?