Numerous parents of students at Enfield, Connecticut’s Enfield High School are concerned and worried after seeing a portion of the high school blocked off for renovations in areas that contain asbestos. Many parents claim that they were never notified of the construction.
According to Hartford Courant, a myriad of parents are upset about the new construction going on at the high school, and some have even taken to Facebook to write a complaint letter to Enfield’s mayor, Scott Kaupin.
Superintendent Jeffrey Schumann, however, states that a letter was sent from his office on Dec. 23, and distributed to both the school staff as well as all the parents. According to Schumann, the letter clearly gave details regarding the construction project, including that asbestos was to be contained during the renovations.
Parents Say They Never Received Any Notifications
A lot of parents disagree, including Ken Kaufman, who has a daughter who attends the high school. In fact, Kaufman said he didn’t even find out until his daughter’s boyfriend, a high school wrestler, told him that their wrestling practice had been moved because a portion of the school had been cordoned off.
“I haven’t heard anything about the asbestos cleanup to this day,” Kaufman said earlier this week. “We get these robo-calls for the upcoming school play or something to that effect, but something as serious as this, they still haven’t told anyone about it or haven’t had the time to put something together for parents.”
Another concerned parent, Lindsay Caouette, says that she too, was never told of the project.
“At this point, there has still been no communication home regarding the work being done with our children in the school, which is concerning to me,” stated Caouette.
The confusion spread further when parents received news that the reason behind the construction was due to a burst pipe in the school. After the pipe busted, a water leak caused flooding on the first, second, and third floors of the school.
Once the water dried, tiles in some of the classrooms, which were made with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) began to lift. According to the letter sent out to parents, of the vinyl tiles start to crack, it could pose a dangerous situation for staff and students.
Per Schumann, there were already work crews at the school working on the previously scheduled project. The same crew also began to work on the tiles as well.
Because of the broken pipe, the work dates for the other project have been adjusted. Along with an update on the school’s website, Schumann states that parents will also receive an automated call this week.
Asbestos in Schools
It’s important to note that Enfield High School is one of the several thousands of schools that contain asbestos in the United States. Prior to the late 1970s, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed strict regulations on asbestos use, many schools throughout the nation were constructed while using the mineral for its fire and heat resistance.
Currently, every school that was built with asbestos must follow a strict plan that entails regularly monitoring of the school. Known as the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), both non-profit schools and public school districts must have a management place on hand at all times. Under federal law, parents and guardians must always be notified if a renovation project is coming up or if there is an outbreak at the school.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been injured by asbestos, there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for substantial compensation. For more information and for a free, confidential case consultation, we invite you to contact our dedicated and experienced mesothelioma attorneys today.