HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com/AP) — An Orange County school district will test every room in its 11 schools for asbestos after questions were raised about whether students were exposed to carcinogenic dust during construction projects earlier this school year.
KNX 1070's Ron Kilgore reports two schools, Oak View Elementary and Hope View Elementary, were closed Monday and Tuesday following asbestos removal on Saturday.
OC Schools To Be Tested For Asbestos In Wake Of Removal Efforts
Ocean View School District officials say they are investigating whether contractors violated protocol by removing asbestos on or after the first day of school.
Last week, parents in Huntington Beach kept their children out of class Friday over concerns of asbestos contamination at several schools in the area that are part of a modernization project, including: Hope View School on Flintstone Lane, Oak View School on Oak Lane, and Lake View School on Zeider Lane.
One parent reported seeing ceiling panels missing, broken, or damaged at Hope View Elementary School. Ocean View School District Superintendent Gustavo Balderas says he is investigating those claims.
"There would be the modernization. There would be construction. To please bear with the noise. With the dust. But nothing on that postcard stated that there was asbestos abatement," said Leitta Strecke, a parent.
According to Balderas, the majority of the abatement work had been completed during the summer while kids weren't in school.
Hope View Elementary parent Heather von Canon is among those parents who say they are noot satisfied with what what they've heard from the Ocean View School District.
"I don't feel like we have a straight story, and I don't feel like the left hand knows what the right hand is doing," said von Canon.
Von Canon and other parents say they want to hear an action plan from the district for handling the problem, either containment of the area and shutting down the construction or close the school in order to do the construction and abatement, and then tack on those days at the end of the school year.
"It's not a safe environment for our children and they can't guarantee it," she said.
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