Francis Hopkinson school closed for environmental testing

Francis Hopkinson School in Philadelphia.
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Officials with the School District of Philadelphia said that Francis Hopkinson School will be closed Feb.3 and Feb.4 to undergo environmental testing.

The school is the seventh to be shut down due to asbestos concerns in the past year.

Earlier this year, ABC reported that the school had previous cases of damaged asbestos, which were communicated to family and staff. The issues were addressed, but there are now new concerns about the school.

Inquirer.com reports that crews have been working on “imminent hazards” in various locations across the school. Some locations that have issues include the cafeteria. The locations affected were sealed off.

It was reported that on Friday that the situation escalated when the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) shared the extent of the damage.

During a district walk-through, it was reported that environmental staff observed around 55 locations of damaged asbestos. Inquirer.com says that a lot of affected areas were surrounding ceiling tiles.

Inquirer.com reports that a teacher shared with a PTF staff that during the summer, the district had replaced all of the ceiling tiles. They expressed that the district did not use the correct abatement protocols and spoke about how there was dust everywhere, and that every classroom was impacted.

It was reported by ABC that the district is sending in at least two different companies to test and monitor the asbestos.

“No one should ever have to be forced to occupy a building that can quite literally poison them. It is unclear to us when the building will be safe for reoccupancy,” Jerry Jordan, PFT president said in a statement to outlets.

It was reported that the district will give families and staff more information as the week goes on. Concerned citizens and parents are encouraged to check out the school district’s website. You can also check out the school’s website for more information as well.

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