THIS PAST MONTH HAS BROUGHT MAJOR WINS AGAINST THE DISTRICT, NEXT STEP IS A WIN IN COURT ON MAY 17TH, 2016
We are being heard–loud and clear.
Despite the school district’s multi-million dollar legal and PR campaign, the federal court has decided that our lawsuit to remove PCBs from our schools — and set a national precedent on behalf of all American kids — warrants a full trial, which will begin in Downtown LA on May 17th, 2016!
The sanctions issue has also been resolved, with the court rejecting the school district’s attempt to personally collect tens-of-thousands of dollars from parents. Now that all of these distractions are behind us, we are looking straight ahead for a final win, getting kids and teachers out of toxic classrooms.
People across Southern California and across the country are now tuning in to our cause. Check out the front page story in the New York Times, the national broadcast on CBS This Morning, and hear the scientific facts from Harvard researchers on National Public Radio station KCRW.
The school district tried its best to convince the court that it’s “best management practices” scheme made a trial unnecessary and they had no violations of PCBs, and sought to have case dismissed.
But the court determined that “[T]he District’s own testing has shown PCBs in excess of 50 ppm in multiple rooms in six different buildings on the Malibu Campus, 70% of the rooms tested by the District contained PCBs in excess of 50 ppm, 28 out of 32 samples taken by the district contained PCBs above 50 ppm, with most above 100,000 ppm, many of the buildings on the Malibu Campus were built prior to 1979, and caulk and other materials containing PCBs were used in schools built from the 1950s through the 1970s.”
The court concluded and found in our favor that: “In reviewing the admissible evidence, and drawing reasonable inferences from that evidence, the Court concludes that triable issues of fact exist concerning the continued ‘use’ of PCBs at the Malibu Campus despite the remediation work performed to date by the District.”
Based on nine declarations from teachers and custodians the Judge found that, “The Court additionally concludes that evidence suggesting that the District has failed to implement and consistently employ BMPs as contemplated by the EPA’s approvals calls into question the amount of deference the Court should give to the District’s purported compliance with the EPA’s guidelines and approvals. For all of the foregoing reasons, the Court denies Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.”
The May 17 trial marks a critical moment in our fight for our kids. We need parents, teachers and students to turn out on the courthouse steps and in the courtroom to show the world and the Judge that we aren’t going to stand idly by while our kids’ classrooms are contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals. Join us and stand up for our kids! RSVP here.
It’s a profound teachable moment for our students–it’s a real life civics lesson that shows speaking truth to power truly can make a difference. See you there, and remember, our suit seeks no monetary damages — only that the PCBs are promplty removed from our schools.
Thank you for all of your support.
Jennifer deNicola and the America Unites for Kids Team