Dozens of Malibu parents, teachers and students went to federal court Tuesday to support a lawsuit filed against the Santa Monica-Malibu School District for toxic chemicals in schools.
Model and mother Cindy Crawford lent her star power to the fight after pulling her kids out of Malibu schools.
“We are here in federal court today because the school district has failed our kids, because the EPA has failed our kids,” Jennifer DeNicola, plaintiff, said.
DeNicola who leads the non-profit “America Unites for Kids” has filed the suit.
It asks the courts to compel the school district to remove the toxic chemicals or PCB’s found inside Malibu middle and high school.
“We have over 50 cases of reported PCB related illnesses and it’s time that they are in safe classrooms to be educated,” DeNicola said.
School district testing showed the toxins embedded in caulk and other building materials.
Parents said the levels were so high it violated federal law.
Parents are calling for more testing, claiming the toxins have poisoned kids and teachers.
“I was the first teacher at Malibu High School to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer and thyroid disease,” Lisa Lambert said.
Some teachers, who were diagnosed with cancer, still work at the school.
While some parents, including Crawford, have opted for homeschooling.
“My kids don’t have that daily interaction with other kids,” Crawford said. “At time its been hard for them.”
The district released the following statement, “We are confident that we are following the law and directions of the Environmental Protection Agency and that our classrooms are safe for teachers and students based on EPA health-protective thresholds.”
The statement continued, “The plaintiffs in this lawsuit disagree with EPA’s regulation of school properties, and want to change the law. That dispute is not one for the district. As a regulated government body bound to follow the direction of the lead federal agency and established science, the school district shall continue to act in the best interest of its staff, students and teachers.”
Both parties are expected back in court in July for another hearing.