Neighbors alarmed over toxic chemical found on McClymonds High School campus

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Parents and neighbors are voicing their concerns about the toxic chemical found in the groundwater at McClymond’s High School in Oakland.

The meeting at Taylor Memorial Methodist Church got heated as people felt they were not getting answers.

“Our whole community, our whole school environment has been traumatized by cancer, by toxins in the air,” Anthony McNeal said.

>> INTERACTIVE MAP: TCE CLEANUP SITES NEAR MCCLYMONDS HIGH SCHOOL

McNeal is a former employee at the high school.

He said school and county officials are simply relying on words instead of showing concrete measurements.

“I need to see something more tangible to say this is where the levels were at, and now because of what we’ve done in this process this is where they’re at now,” he said.

Officials maintain that adequate testing is being done, and that’s why they’ve closed the school for now. 

Their concern is making sure TCE vapors have not gotten into the buildings.

Others argue students and people living in the area should be tested as well.

“There’s no indication right now that there’s any presence of this chemical in the air, we just have to test for it,” OUSD General Counselor Josh Daniel said. “We know that it’s in the groundwater, not the drinking water and we don’t know about the air.” 

One woman who lives near the school said she’s worried this has been happening for sometime and many students and residents could be at risk.

“It’s awful. I’m just concerned about the kids getting sick and if they tear the school down — the school has been here for heckka years,” she said. “We need McClymonds, we want our school.”

The Oakland Unified School District says they are currently working on a plan to get school back up and running at some point next week.

They’re still working on getting an alternative site to be able to get students back into the classrooms. Those plans have not been released yet.

Another meeting will be held Monday night at the West Oakland Public Library.

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