Carnell Elementary School reopened Monday

An Asbestos warning sign
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Carnell Elementary School reopened Monday after asbestos remediation. 

Carnell and McClure Elementary both closed before winter break due to asbestos concerns. 

The School District of Philadelphia said that the appropriate repairs had been completed. ABC reports that they said that the air sampling fell within regulations for the FDA and Philly regulations.

Philly School District spokesperson Megan Lello told ABC that “We took about 350 samples throughout the school building at Carnell. All of the tests came back clear, safe for students and staff to reoccupy.” 

Although the district says it’s safe, representatives from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) are still concerned. At 8 a.m., the President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Jerry Jordan, met with educators outside the building. 

The PFT told ABC that the School District did not follow an agreement about testing protocols. However, the school district fired back, saying that the union invited multiple times and only conducted one test of their own. 

“We are not able to assure our members that the building is safe,” Jordan told ABC. 

Jordan continued stated that, “If testing was done yesterday, it was done without our environmental scientists.”

Parents are not sure what to do in this case. Many parents have expressed concern over the asbestos and how the school district handled it.

Mother Erica Miller told ABC that, “Not any of the officials in charge of making these decisionsnone of their children go to these schools, and I believe that this situation has been going on for a long period of time, and we’re just getting the end of the story.”

It was reported that PFT is planning on doing their own additional testing. 

Although, they made progress, there is still work to be done. It was reported that there was still abatement to do in five sealed-off closets that the School District says are not accessible to students or teachers. 

It was reported that McClure Elementary is expected to reopen Wednesday. Their Pre-K classes will begin on January 21. 

Asbestos continues to be a problem plaguing the Philly school system. Metro reported that asbestos was discovered in 175 of over 200 school buildings in the district. The first two schools closed due to asbestos in October last year. The schools shared campus and recently reopened. 

Additionally, last year a former teacher was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-linked cancer. The teacher worked for Meredith Elementary and Nebinger school. 

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