MALIBU—On November 4, District Superintendent Sandra Lyon urged the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to investigate parents in regards to trespassing and vandalism.
According to Lyon, on October 9, some parents of students from Juan Cabrillo Elementary and Malibu High School trespassed on schools grounds and used a box cutter to remove building materials from classrooms without permission and resulting in thousands of dollars in damage. The costs of damage has been estimated to be somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000, although officials believe that these numbers will increase as the investigation proceeds.
In the center of this investigation is Jennifer DeNicola, president of America Unites for Kids, who had admitted that she was one of the parents who went inside the school in order to get window caulk to test it for cancer-causing chemicals.
This battle between parents of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has been ongoing since 2013. The problem started when three teachers reported to having thyroid cancer and showing symptoms of hair loss, headaches, and rashes.
Tests were conducted by McDaniel Lambert Inc., after parents and teachers began to voice concerns as to the cause of these bouts of illness. The tests showed that low amounts of Radon were found, but that it posed no danger. CO2 was also found, but again, only in small amounts and this was blamed on poor ventilation issues. Tests were also conducted for Polychlorinated Biphenyl but levels were low.
The parents were unconvinced by these results and so took initiative by paying to have their own tests conducted. These tests showed that the levels of PCB that were present were high, which contradicted the tests that were done by the district. The problem with the tests reveal that materials were gathered without the permission of the school district.