On Tuesday, angry parents protested in front of Cobble Hill School in Brooklyn in an effort to postpone asbestos removal efforts until the summer vacation.
The outrage stems from an announcement last week that the Department of Education plans to begin asbestos removal from the grade school immediately, and parents fear that the 708 students at the school may be exposed to the carcinogenic fiber that is known to cause mesothelioma.
Signs on the school’s front door that read “Danger. Asbestos. Cancer and Lung Disease Hazard” only strengthen these parents’ concerns. At least 10 parents have vowed to stage a sit-in at the school on Friday, when crews of workers will arrive to begin renovations, which also include a new roof and the replacement of some windows.
The parents demand that these renovations be postponed until the summer, when students and teachers will not be present and subject to asbestos exposure. The Department of Education has stated that they will not postpone this work because the entire project could take as long as 18 months and they need to begin immediately.
Many parents wonder how much a two-month delay will really affect the project, though officials say that students are in no danger of exposure to harmful fibers or chemicals. According to parent Michael Nigro, “This is really serious. They don’t care about our school. They don’t care about our teachers’ health or our kids’ health.”