Parents try shaming chancellor into meeting
By Sarina Trangle
Marisol Carrero said she brought her third-grader to the Panel for Education Policy’s May 23 meeting to make a point to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.
“I just wanted him to see a face, a face that he’s been ignoring for all this time, a face that he didn’t consider during all this,” said Ms. Carrero, whose son attended The Bronx New School, PS 51, when it was housed in a toxic building.
Ms. Carrero said she was one of nine current and former PS 51 parents who spoke during the meeting’s public comment period to ask Mr. Walcott to make good on his word to meet with them.
“He gets headaches. He’s always nauseous … I would pick him up and he would be hysterically crying from a headache,” she said.
PS 51 Parents United brought with them a May 10 Community Education Council District 10 resolution asking the chancellor to meet with parents and urging health officials to help them setup a medical registry to track illnesses.
Mr. Walcott didn’t directly respond to the parents, according to Ms. Carrero and others who stood next to their children or flashed photos of their families. However the newly formed coalition of parents and the Northwest Bronx Community Clergy Coalition said the chancellor had an assistant get contact information for PS 51 Parents United.
The DOE learned PS 51 classrooms contained levels of trichloroethylene, or TCE, exceeded state guidelines when environmental tests were conducted to fulfill lease-renewal requirements in February 2011. Six months later, the school was relocated and parents were informed about the presence of the chemical, which has been linked to dizziness, headaches, confusion, developmental issues and cancer.