A coalition of parents is suing the Morgan Hill Unified School Board of Education, seeking a public hearing to address removal of toxins at a proposed new school site.
The school board “has refused to even discuss the matter,” said Christina Hildebrand,
president and founder of A Voice for Choice Advocacy, in a statement released last month.
“Naturally, this has parents and local residents concerned. Fears of a cover-up, and the simple need for the community to be able to air their concerns and get some answers, has motivated the coalition to take the district to court,” she said in the statement.
Hildebrand contends that state law and the district’s own bylaws require the district to agendize items upon a request of the public.
The request concerns the ‘Borello site’ in Morgan Hill, a proposed school site that is contaminated with the pesticide Dieldrin. In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned Dieldrin for all uses. Dieldrin has been linked to health problems such as Parkinson’s, breast cancer, and immune, reproductive, and nervous system damage. It is also an endocrine disruptor, severely hurting the development of boys.
The Morgan Hill district recently authorized $1.68 million to clean up the site by digging it up and hauling off the contaminated soil.
In their suit, the parents say they want to know why the district made this expenditure, and assert that this method could expose surrounding communities to contamination from airborne dust. “Bioremediation would be significantly less costly and would not create the same adverse health impacts on the community,” said Hildebrand.
“This is an issue of profound concern,” she said in a statement. “In the very least, parents and neighbors have a right to know what their children and their bodies will be exposed to–and how the district is spending taxpayer money. Why won’t they hold a public hearing? What do they have to hide?”
The lawsuit, A Voice for Choice Advocacy v. Morgan Hill Unified District Board of Education, was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court.