Posts Tagged ‘norrell’

Here are 3 videos from the protest on 9/4/12 at the Richmond School Board meeting over the decision to re-open Norrell Elementary school in Barton Heights

This first is just a short clip of some of the protesters before the meetings.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/49290245″>Norrell Elementary Protest 9/4/12</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/wingnutrva”>WingnutAnarchistCollective</a&gt; on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

These next two are of the public comments period at the beginning of the meetings, when folks spoke out against Norrell – after the break: (more…)

Some amazing activists with the group Parents For Life 2012 have exposed some glaring lies by the Richmond Public Schools about A.V. Norrell. Thanks to Parents For Life 2012 for shedding light on the issues, and keeping the pressure on!

From Parents For Life 2012:

Richmond Public School recently put out an FAQ section on their website, in relation to the relocation of the Head Start program to A.V Norrell Elementary. In this FAQ, they lie about the contents of a 2007 FEMA report (available by email, mcnealkc [at] vcu.edu if you want us to email you the file), and about the capacity of John B. Cary Elementary. The complete refutation is attached as a .doc file.

In brief, RPS claimed that the 2007 report declared Norrell safe and the landfill no longer a problem, while in reality, FEMA detected levels of methane gas “approaching the upper explosive limit”, and unequivocally stated that the landfill is still a safety risk at the time of writing. Richmond Public Schools also alleges that no other school could accommodate 250 students, while a news report from May of this year represents John B. Cary elementary (which the FAQ mentions by name) as operating 700 students under capacity.

These discrepancies, calculated as they appear, can’t be accidental. RPS is lying about A.V Norrell Elementary.
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Parents For Life_2012 invites you to join us for the Preschoolers First Day of Class Vigil at Norrell Elementary School. Norrell Elementary School was closed in 2006 because there were environmental concerns about the site, which was built on an old city landfill.

On facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/events/466670310021143/

Parents for Life_2012 believe that the health and welfare of the city’s children should be the primary concern of the Richmond City School Board. We are committed to remain vigilant in our demand for an excellent learning environment for our most

vulnerable 3 & 4 year old pre-schoolers as well. We will remind everyone that we believe this school board has failed in their duty to OUR children.Please join us in reminding the school board that they have endangered our children and that we will persist in our effort to protect our children.

While we wish to express our outrage at the school board’s decision, we do not want to frighten the children nor do we want to interrupt nor interfere with the normal operation of the school.

We, therefore want everyone attending this vigil to be respectful of students and staff. We ask that this be a quiet vigil and that no one yell at school personnel nor enter the school grounds. We are to remain on the sidewalks.

Representatives of Parents For Life_2012 will be present in shifts starting at 7:30 AM until 4:00 PM on Monday Sept 10.

Please join us during the times listed below as you are able.

Shifts will run:
7:30 AM to 9:30 AM
9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

A. V. NORRELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 2120 FENDALL AVENUE, RICHMOND, VA 23222
Megan Walker, myself (Kat McNeal) and Jonathan Cunningham compiled the following information on Norrell Elementary. I’ve included a brief summary of results, as well as links to where we found each piece of information. All of the information was publicly available when we found it (9/4/2012). This is by no means a complete picture of the situation with Norrell Elementary, as it neglects statements made by school board members, direct testimony from area parents, a complete history of the site, and many other facets. For more complete information, speak to Art Burton and Lillie Estes.Our findings establish that there were explosive levels of methane still being exuded from the dump site as late as 2006 (FEMA’s 2007 Report), that the Environmental Protection Agency lists A.V. Norrell Elementary School as an ‘active’ candidate for the National Priorities List of contaminated sites (Superfund Site Information Database), and that the conditions at Norrell stand to violate the Head Start Program’s Environmental Requirements. Additionally, despite some claims from School Board members, Parks and Recreation has never listed the school as the site of a community center or community program.The most recent environmental survey of the site available to the public was the FEMA report in 2007, reflecting conditions in 2006. There exist no more recent investigations available to the public online.

These sources, and the absence of more recent data, suggest that the dangers of Norrell have not been addressed in any way since its closing in 2006. Beyond the obvious physical dangers of the site, which were very much present in 2006 with no evidence that they have been resolved since, Richmond Public Schools could stand to lose Head Start funding should conditions violating the requirements be rediscovered

The following report includes a description of, and select quotes from, the source materials.

FEMA’s 2007 Report

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Some folks helping Parents For Life 2012, did some research today. In less than 2 hours, using google, they were able to find evidence to support the case that AV Norrell Elementary is NOT fit to be re-opened.

Please read the articles below, and look out for an upcoming report from them on what can be found with the articles.

http://www.richmondcitywatch.com/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2069

At tonight’s School Board Meeting, the School Board had decided in a work group meeting before to continue with their decision to re-open Norrell Elementary next week to host pre-school age children.
From 5-7 around 40 or more protesters came out and held signs in front of the 9th Street Entrance to City Hall. There was also a strong media presence.
When the School Board Meeting finally started around 7:30, around 7 or more people got up to speak against the re-opening of Norrell. Protesters made impassioned cases, bringing up numerous points against the re-opening. The School Board members seemed largely unaffected, and offered no response.
Please stay tuned, because if the School Board goes ahead with this ignorant, dangerous, environmentally and institutionally racist plan, they will continue to face a mounting resistance.
Email burtonal@live.com or parentsforlife.2012@gmail.com to get involved.
Don’t put our babies on the dump!!

We have just confirmed the venue for the Barton Heights Community Association Meetings- Triumphant Baptist Church, which is at Lamb Avenue and Poe St. We will be meeting in the basement.

The September meeting will be on Tuesday September 11th at 6:30 pm.

Please help spread the word to your neighbors in Barton Heights!

We had 1 meeting in July, and you can watch the video from that here: Video of First Meeting of New Barton Heights Association

And then we also organized an August National Night Out Event which happened on August 7th.

Please come out, and bring your ideas for the neighborhood!

CBS 6 Coverage of Norrell Elementary controversy and the protest planned for today!

School Board member Dawn Page says on camera that she wishes she had voted against sending kids to Norrell. Her neighborhood was fliered heavily yesterday morning by 2 members of Parents For Life.

 

Tuesday Sept 4th at 5pm, Parents for Life 2012 will be picketing around City Hall, in response to the recent School Board decision to send over 250 pre-k students into an old, unsafe, built on a dump, school that was shut down in 2006.

There is a School Board meeting at 7pm that we will be attending as well.

When: Tuesday, September 4th

Time: 5:00pm Picket

7:00pm School Board Meeting

Where: City Hall 9th St. Entrance

301 N. Ninth Street

Richmond, VA 23219

For More Information Contact: Art Burton (804) 467- 6408 or email burtonal@live.com

Parents For Life 2012!   parentsforlife.2012@gmail.com

Some recent articles on this issue:

Pre-School at the Dump

Decision to Re-Open School Sparks Protest Plans

Re-Opening of Norrell for Pre-k Generates Controversy

 

More info, and previous press release after the cut: (more…)

For Immediate Release

Norrell Elementary Grand Re-Opening

Should a gas mask be on their back to school supply list?

The Richmond School Board has voted 8-1 in favor of moving over 250 pre-school age children (ages 3-4) from schools on the East End to Norrell Elementary in the Barton Heights Neighborhood.

School Officials claim that methane gas, mold, and carbon dioxide levels at Norrell are “Within acceptable limits”.

“Within acceptable limits” for whose children?

Norrell Elementary is built on a landfill, and was shut down in 2006 thanks to 7 years of community efforts to fight against environmental racism and for the health and well being of our children. At the time the methane gas, mold, and carbon dioxide levels posed serious health and safety risks to our children.

When did that change?

When was the community consulted about the decision to re-open the school?

There will be a picket and protest on Tuesday September 4th at 5pm around City Hall. At 7pm there is a school board meeting, which we will also be organizing to attend.

When: Tuesday, September 4th

Time: 5:00pm Picket

7:00pm School Board Meeting

Where: City Hall 9th St. Entrance

301 N. Ninth Street

Richmond, VA 23219

For More Information Contact: Art Burton (804) 467- 6408 or email burtonal@live.com

Parents For Life 2012!

This is being organized by a coalition of community members, social justice activists, and community organizations from around Richmond. If you or your organization are interested in joining the fight to keep our kids safe, please be in touch.