Le Roy Central Schools Release Letter To The Community

February 7, 2012 Updated Feb 7, 2012 at 9:41 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Le Roy Central Schools Release Letter To The Community

February 7, 2012 Updated Feb 7, 2012 at 9:41 PM EDT

LE ROY, NY ( release ) Superintendent Kim M. Cox from the Le Roy Central School District explains air and soil testing after "tic" like symptoms were found in teenagers there.

National attention has been focused on Le Roy since teenagers have had tourettes syndrome like symptoms. The concerns have been diagnosed as Conversion Disorder by doctors at the DENT Neurological Institute, with other doctors saying it could be an illness called PANDAS.

Environmentalists have also weighed in, citing toxins as a probable cause, that spilled close by in a 1970 train accident.

Here is the text of the letter obtained by Eyewitness News:

The Leader Professional Services Final Recommendations Review is posted below.

Since there still appears to be some misunderstanding regarding whether we are committed to conducting soil testing, I would like to clarify that we are committed to conducting soil testing. As Leader presented at the meeting on Saturday, we will be conducting both air and soil testing but are doing so sequentially for the following reasons:

· Indoor air sampling is the most direct method of determining whether the vapor intrusion pathway is complete and whether building occupants face a long-term health risk. Indoor air data integrates all contributing factors from the subsurface, above the ground, and the building itself.

· The students are spending most of their time in the building so this is a good place to start for identifying any immediate situation we need to address.

· If there are any harmful substances under the school building slab (in the soil or groundwater), the most likely pathway to the students would be through vapor intrusion and then inhalation by the students.

· The results of the air sampling can provide a clearer road map on where we need to conduct our soil testing first and specifically what we should be looking for.

· Our air sampling is not just general air quality testing. Leader is specifically looking into the compounds and other environmental indicators that are of an immediate concern to our community.

The District is pleased to announce that we have received good news from local and state officials. They are working hard to secure funding for the costs incurred by the District for the testing to be conducted at the high school by Leader Professional Services. Other private entities have contacted us regarding possible additional financial assistance and we will be pursuing all such resources.

Finally, as you may be aware, Robert Bowcock sent a letter to me on February 6, 2012, and simultaneously sent the same letter to the media. Given this, I have no choice but to publically respond, as this matter must be put to rest so that we can proceed forward with review and sampling outlined by Leader Professional Services and return our focus to the education of our students. As Superintendent of Schools, it is my responsibility to protect and lead this District. In conjunction with our Board of Education, I make decisions as to appropriate action and response to numerous matters. We did just that here. Understanding in December that despite the findings of the Department of Health and private medical professionals, we needed to provide further reassurance to parents about this situation, we had initial environmental testing conducted. After consultation with trusted advisers and a review of credentials and experience, we then retained Leader Professional Services to analyze the preliminary testing results and provide further recommendations. All of this occurred prior to the time that we became aware of Ms. Brockovich’s interest in this situation through an interview she gave on the HLN network on January 27th and prior to Mr. Bowcock appearing, without notification to us, but with a camera crew from HLN in tow, at the District on Saturday morning, January 28th. Their public entrance into Le Roy has not altered how the District has proceeded with this matter to date or how it will proceed moving forward.

As you can see from the thorough and thoughtful plan set forth by Leader Professional Services, we are working with an experienced, reputable company. As a District, we are not in need of Mr. Bowcock’s direct involvement, nor the involvement of others by whom we have been contacted, albeit their contact has not been made in such a public way. Certainly, as they deem appropriate, if those individuals or entities wish to provide us with relevant information they believe would assist our efforts, they may do so.

Just as with almost every decision we as a District make, I recognize that some have alternate views as to how we should proceed. All I can ask at this point is that people recognize that our decisions are made always with the best interests of our students and the school community at large as our primary focus and only after careful, reasoned thought.

Kim M. Cox
Superintendent of Schools