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     FYI:  There was an article in the Providence journal on Friday citing yet another disturbing example of problems with the roofing of the Elementary schools in town.    On Tuesday, the roofers arrived at Stony Lane Elementary school to finish the roof work.  Ms. Crothers, the Principal, did not know they were coming.  This is troubling in and of itself.  The Principal should be notified, especially in light of the previous problems, when roofing work is to take place.
Although Dr. Halley stated that no work had actually begun yet, the workers were on the roof making preparations to begin work.  Apparently because some of the ceiling tiles were missing in the second grade area, particles of dust and matter began to fall into the second grade area.  A teacher who suffers from asthma immediately felt her throat close up in reaction and went to get some air.  Ms. Crothers did not allow the roofers to continue working and told them to leave. 
 Dr. Halley is claiming that the roofers left  only because Ms. Crothers was not sure that they were authorized to be there and had to find out who authorized them to do the work, and that while she was attempting to call the Administration to check, the roofers left.  Teachers said that Ms. Crothers called an emergency staff meeting and announced that she would not let any work be done while the children were in the building, contrary to the wishes of the administration, who wanted the work to continue.   Teachers said that Ms. Crothers resisted pressure by the administration to let the work continue, citing her responsibly to the children in the building. We suggest that it is the duty of the School Committee to find out the truth of the matter. 
Although no one became ill as a result of this, it is incredible that incidents continue to occur and the School Committee has not yet responded to repeated requests to look into the roofing contracts.  I believe that after the last incidents at Stony Lane, OSHA ordered that no more work was to take place when the building was occupied.  This incident last week was out and out defiance by the administration of the State's orders.  I spoke to Jim Larisa myself and he said that Dr. Halley has not been cooperative with State officials (OSHA) throughout this roofing situation. In fact, Mr. Larisa said that Dr. Halley has argued repeatedly with Mr. Larisa regarding his instructions and orders involving safety issues, including Mr. Larisa's order that glue not be applied while children were in the building!
This Principal is the only one who refused to shirk her responsibly and insisted on making sure that the children were safe.    After this, the fourth or fifth incident, surely it is now time for the School Committee to investigate and take control of the roofing situation at our schools.  The Superintendent is now flouting the orders of State officials.  The School Committee must act.
This incident brings another important issue that many people are not aware of to light.  At DES, there is no drop ceiling and so all the debris from the roofing work fell directly into the classrooms below.  However, at Stony Lane and Forest Park, the debris fell from the roof onto the underside of the ceiling tiles (as evidenced by the fact that while particles were falling in the second grade area where there were no ceiling tiles).  At Stony and Forest Park, the debris is still there, trapped between the roof and the ceiling tiles.  The debris has not yet been removed, nor have the tiles been cleaned or replaced.  This could pose a problem for children with allergies and asthma and should be addressed by the School Committee. It is my understanding that Jim Larisa of OSHA has asked the Administration what they intend to do to clean out the debris but have not received an answer.  My child, among many others, suffers from fairly severe allergies.  He has been experiencing  difficulty with his allergies this winter.  I intend to pursue this matter with the School Committee and with OSHA and I would encourage other parents to do so also.  Additionally at Forest Park, much of the construction debris has been blown into the playground areas and surrounding wooded areas. This needs to be cleaned up ASAP. Please forward this e-mail to parents of children who may be effected by this.

compiled by Lynda Avansanto