Irene Flooding To Force Newark Students Out Of School Building

NEWARK, N.J. (CBS 2) — Flooding in New Jersey is forcing students out of their school and Tuesday, on the first day, they will have to be bused to other schools.

District officials said it is unsafe for students to be inside the Wilson Avenue School in Newark. Flooding, they said, has caused dangerous mold to form inside.

That’s why they are busing kids to other schools in Newark and Belleville on their first day back. Some parents are angry.

“I don’t support dropping up the bomb on a Saturday afternoon with a phone call,” Anabala Silva told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

Steve Morlino, Executive Director of Facilities Management for the Newark School District, said it was a “health and safety issue” and there was “no choice.”

“The problem is that water infiltration from Hurricane Irene got into the building. That water did not dry out as quickly as it should’ve,” Morlino said.

For students it’s tough. They went through the same thing last year when environmental crews found high levels of benzene and petroleum inside the school.

“I think it’s really bad because this is happening every year,” student Brian Silva said. “I do not want to do this again.”

“There’s nothing that we can do about it, so we’re just going to have to,” another student, Jessica Ontaneda, said.

Many parents say they’ll be at the school Tuesday morning to protest and some say they won’t be sending their kids to school.

The district also plans on holding a meeting for parents Tuesday. Officials said they’re not sure when the school will be safe to go back into.

What do you think of this move?  Sound off in the comments section below…

More from Christine Sloan
  • Nyambia

    I don’t understand. The parents want the kids to go into the moldy place????

  • Gary

    The hurricane event occured last week, it takes 3-5 days for the mold to appear after a rain event. They discivered the problem, did the testing which takes 2-3 days to complete and made a decision to air on the side of safety for the students. I don’t see what the problem is.

  • Nate Muir

    Problem is bigger than that: This is a little “masking tape” over the larger benzene, mold, air quality issue first reported on in 2010. The school is well over 100 years old. Teachers enter the school to find mouse droppings, mushrooms growing from cracks in the walls and fissures in the walls that allow you to see outside. Where is all the money the City received from Donors? Why are we building arenas and not fixing schools? Things need to change. We’re putting our children in harms way for political gain, government corruption and Wall Street profit. I would like to see more investigating from the media.

  • truth

    the problem comes down to UNIONS! Teacher Unions forced the school systems to diminish its quality. Higher pay and exorbitant luxurious benefits mean lower quality education for our children. The United Federation of Teachers should come clean and show the general public their contract! Show the public the health benefits the teachers receive. Show the public the luxurious retirement pension packages the teachers receive! Teachers should retire at the same age as the federal government requires everyone to receive Medicare and Social Security benefits. In a few years, most will have to work until age 67! Teachers, however, get to retire after 30 years of service… that’s age 55 for most teacher!!! $50,000 salary with 3 months summer breaks, 2 weeks winter break, 1 week spring break, over 2 weeks of holidays = $6250 a month salary excluding those holiday months!

  • John M Abeigon

    The sad truth is that this was expected. The Newark Public Schools has chosen to invest millions in donations and millions more of court ordered funding with the friends in “for profit educational consultants.”rather than facilities.

    Charter Schools, many located in public schools, were freshly painted, cleaned, and had smart boards and A.C. installed in them over the summer.

    Amount spent by the district in repairing Wilson Ave School this summer? Zero!

  • Kathy

    How smart of the parents not to send the kids to school. What do they hope to prove that way? I understand protesting better building conditions, but the bottom line is, you send your kid wherever the safest school is. Do they want their kids exposed to mold and possible cancer causing materials?

  • kendra

    thats terrible cause i know that those students were really looking forward to seeing each other cause of the long summer break.

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