Parents on edge after chemical found at McClymonds High, students relocated to new sites

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Parents are still on edge in Oakland following the discovery of toxic chemical at McClymonds High School.

The school will remain closed this week.

Environmental and school officials held another community meeting on Monday night to give an update on the testing happening at the school.

The meeting at West Oakland Middle School was closed to reporters but we have learned there are plans to house McClymonds students at three other schools while air testing is being completed.

So far, the testing has not shown any trace of TCE but parents still want to know if enough is being done to keep people safe.

McClymonds High School remains closed this week as more air testing is being done in the school’s buildings. 

The testing is to see if a cancer-causing chemical found in the school’s groundwater has vaporized and leaked inside. 

Parents and students came together for two informational meetings Monday at West Oakland Middle to get an update on when McClymonds will reopen.

“It’s kinda scary. You know so it does bother me not only just with the school, just with the community period,” Desiree Bell said.

Parents of McClymonds students say they want to be assured the school district is taking every precaution.

“I’m really concerned about my kid because you know he’s athletic. He drinks a lot of water so I’m really concerned about the water,” Bell said.

TCE has not been found in the school’s drinking water and Oakland school officials say weekend air testing inside the school’s buildings has turned up zero.

But McClymonds will not be reopened until the second round of testing is completed later this week.

The more than 350 students at the school will have to be spread out across 3 other schools with 9th graders going to Ralph Bunche High School, and 10th and 11th graders attending West Oakland Middle and seniors reporting to Westlake Middle.

OUSD says some days the students will be going on field trips.

“They’re gonna be going to the DeYoung Museum, they’re gonna be going to  Pixar, it’s going to be sort of an exciting week for them a little bit different,” a spokesman for OUSD, John Sasaki, said.

Exciting is not how some parents are describing this current situation.

“Somebody need to clean up the whole city including the water. Somebody needs to come out here and open a proper school,” another parent said.

The second round of air testing begins Wednesday and runs through Friday. 

Results are expected to be reported by the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

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