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Angry Parents Demand Answers As OC Schools Remain Closed For Asbestos Testing

ORANGE COUNTY ( — Angry parents in Orange County are demanding answers as school closures Monday dragged into their second week due to asbestos testing.

Parents say they're frustrated by the lack of information Ocean View School District officials are providing about their students' futures.

Oak View Elementary students and parents in Huntington Beach marched in front of the district's office Monday morning, hoping someone would explain when the children will return to class.

"We brought our kids because they want their school back. They want their education back," Oak View parent Olga Flores said. "What's going to happen with the kids' education? We have not got any answers at all. We come to meetings and they just stand up and walk away."

It's been six days since administrators shut down the campus to test for a possible presence of asbestos.

The approximately 750 Oak View students aren't the only ones who have been away from school. Hope View and Lake view Elementary are also closed, leaving an additional 850 kids in limbo.

Authorities say the campuses are old and asbestos is present in the fire-proofing materials in the roof.

At Hope View, an asbestos fiber was found in a wipe test in one classroom. Asbestos was also detected in two other classrooms at Lake View Elementary, according to the district.

The asbestos will be removed over the course of the next few months, officials say.

"Two classrooms got a reading that was above the 70 structures [per square millimeter]. But it wasn't high above. It was a very, very small amount above the threshold," Ocean View District spokesman Tom DeLapp said. "Nevertheless, we took the steps and we're going to be moving towards abatement."

Abatement of asbestos in the fire-proofing of Oak View and Hope View schools will happen before students return, meaning students there will be temporarily relocated.

"I was worried because the last that I heard they were just going to clean out the schools but not remove the asbestos and the major cause of the asbestos getting down into the classrooms so now I am a lot more relieved in regards to my student," Hope View parent Matthew McCarrick said.

Many of families have medical concerns about asbestos.

The district has arranged for a panel of experts, including doctors and an industrial hygienist, to talk with parents Tuesday afternoon at Oak View Elementary.

A second meeting is planned at Spring View Elementary Tuesday evening.


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