Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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Students At Toxic Bronx School Relocated To New Building

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Students from P.S. 51 in the Bronx are going to a new temporary location for classes, after unsafe levels of toxins were discovered at their former building.

When classes resume Thursday, students will have to travel to Belmont, a Bronx neighborhood about two miles from the school's original location in Norwood.

That location, which was built nearly 20 years ago on an industrial site, was shut down when environmental testing revealed high levels of cancer-causing toxins.

"We still have 31 buildings who are leased sites that have never had an environmental audit and I know the Department of [Education] said they're going to check them and we're glad that's happening but it's sad that it took this incident to make that happen," said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew. "There is an obligation on behalf of the city to make sure that every school site is safe for children and staff."

"We were able to get this building pretty quickly and I'm just glad that we're able to stay together as a school," said P.S. 51 teacher Rick Romain.

Some teachers and students have complained about headaches and dizziness but it is not clear if the symptoms are related to the contamination.

The teacher's union is asking the city to set up a medical monitoring process.

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