LOS ANGELES —Every parent has
gained a right to know of pesticide application to which their
children may be exposed if they are enrolled in the Los
Angeles Unified School District. At the beginning of the
school year, parents are given a list of pesticide products
that have been approved for use at LAUSD sites. Parents who
wish advance notification of each pesticide application at
their child’s school will receive notification by completing
the “Right to Know” form and sending it to the school
Principal. Notification exceptions may occur under emergency
circumstances that warrant an immediate response.
This right is part of a new
policy adopted by LAUSD introduced by the Los Angeles Safe
Schools Coalition. Called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) the
policy pledges to implement least-toxic measures to control
all pest management issues at LAUSD’s hundreds of schools.
The policy has become a model for school districts and
"Every parent knows that
it is smart to keep children away from toxic chemicals."
said Harvey Karp, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA
School of Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics.
“That’s why I salute the Los Angeles Safe Schools
Coalition. The coalition has helped the Los Angeles Unified
School District to adopt the best solution in the country for
getting rid of pests while protecting children.”
Past failure to notify parents
spurred the formation of LASSC and its campaign to get the
school district to adopt the new policy. LASSC Executive
Director Robina Suwol’s children walked through a toxic
cloud at Sherman Oaks Elementary School one morning in 1998.
The exposure resulted because an LAUSD gardener, in a white
hazardous materials suit, arrived late to spray the herbicide
Princep, which can cause serious health effects in human
exposures, particularly in children, whose developing body
systems may be more vulnerable than those of adults.
Co-founder and Director of
LASSC, Wendy Cohen, also a parent, is confident information on
the LASSC website will be up to date. "It is all too
often extremely difficult to find accurate information within
such a large organization as the Los Angeles Unified School
District. With the help of our website, we hope to eliminate a
lot of the bureaucracy and arm each parent with the knowledge
he or she needs to ensure the safest environment for our
Los Angeles Safe Schools
Coalition is a project of Community Partners. LASSC is
committed to ensuring that all students, teachers, staff and
community members who live near these school sites are in a
safe, toxic-free environment.
For more information, contact
firstname.lastname@example.org, or log onto http://www.lassc.org.
Los Angeles Safe Schools Coalition
Web site: http://www.lassc.org