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The 3 R's: Reading, Writing And Rage -- Porter Ranch Parents Pull Their Kids Out Of School Over Gas Leak

PORTER RANCH ( —  Parents in Porter Ranch angry over the on-going gas leak have begun pulling their children out of school

CBS2's Kristine Lazar said parents told her they no longer are willing to put their children at risk.

Porter Ranch stay-at-home mom and turned community activist Dee Ann Abernathy told Lazar she's had enough.

"I woke up one morning and for ten minutes, life was normal," she said, "and then I remembered -- what I'm smelling, what I'm breathing, what my kids are going through."

Abernathy is urging parents at her children's school -- Castlebay Lane Elementary School and  nearby Porter Ranch Community School --  to keep their kids home Friday.

She said she wants to send a message to LAUSD.

"I want them to relocate the school," she said, "so that the children can learn in a safe environment."

The district put a survey on line Thursday asking parents if they wanted the two schools temporarily closed and the nearly 2,000 students re-located.

"But here's the thing with the survey," said Pauline Padovano, "is that a company doing an independent survey, it's them doing the survey. I'm not bringing my kid back there."

She kept her 7-year-old son Luke home from Castlebay all week. She said he had been suffering from headaches, nose bleeds and bronchitis.

Abernathy said her daughter has been plagued by hives and nausea.

Both the LAUSD and gas company say there are no long-term health consequences to being exposed to the gas leak.

Lazar spoke to another mom who doesn't believe them. She's pulled her two children out of school and sent them to nearby Agoura Hills.

"They've lost all of their friends," said Denise Goodin, "They're having to start over in a new community and they don't know anybody."

Parents have until 5 p.m. Friday to complete the survey. If the schools are relocated, students will not be able to return to the two schools in question, until the following school year.

(Editor's Note: Parents plan to protest at 9 a.m. Friday at Tampa and Rinaldi.)




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