Mould Problems Confirmed in Lambton-Kent Say Teachers

    TORONTO, March 2 /CNW/ - Teacher concerns about mould in Lambton-Kent
District School Board classrooms have been strongly confirmed by recent
Board-sponsored tests, says the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
    The test results are in sharp contrast to the Board's steadfast position
in recent months that tests demonstrated their classrooms are safe. The
current test results indicate that visible mould has been identified in six
Lambton schools and in three Kent Schools. As of March 2, test results for
14 schools were available to ETFO. The Board has a total of 55 schools.
    In addition to the mould-confirming test results, ETFO has learned that
one of the portable classrooms that it had complained about in the past will
be closed today because of mould problems.
    "This is a disturbing development," said ETFO First Vice-President David
Clegg, "considering the fact that we were told on many occasions that the
classroom in question did not have a problem."
    "Earlier this year, the Board provided us with conflicting test results
for other schools using the same methodology that proved unreliable last year.
Some tests revealed a possible danger, while others conducted later by the
same firm seemed to contradict their initial findings. The Board had refused
to allow us to conduct our own tests, using an independent, internationally
trained forensic mould specialist," said Clegg.
    "The extent of the current mould problem and the potential for serious
health and safety consequences demand immediate remedial action on the part of
the Board," concluded Clegg.
    "As we have stressed on numerous occasions, students, parents, and school
personnel need to be assured that the involved classrooms are safe for
teaching and learning. If the classrooms are not safe, they must be closed
immediately and not reopened until the Board can demonstrate without question
that mould is no longer present."

    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents more than
70,000 public elementary school teachers and education workers across Ontario
and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Larry D. Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (office), (416) 948-0195 (cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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