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Newark Students Miss Instruction to Protest for Answers About Elevated Levels of Lead in Water

Newark Students Miss Instruction to Protest for More Answers About Elevated Levels of Lead in Water

Earlier this month, Newark Public Schools turned off water in over 30 schools after tests found elevated levels of lead in the drinking water.

The school system later announced it would be offering blood tests to test for lead levels in the 17,000 students who might have been affected

Unfortunately, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has put a spotlight on the dangers of tainted drinking water, and negative public reaction has been swift despite Newark officials saying the levels of elevations are not nearly comparable to the those in the Flint crisis.

Negative reaction isn’t just coming from parents and advocates. Last week, over 200 students in Weequahic High School staged a silent protest during the school day to “get the attention of school district officials and building administrators,” said NJ.com.

"They are upset and nervous about elevated levels of lead found in their school water – levels high enough to make the district shut down drinking fountains. The same thoughts likely resonate with students at 29 other Newark public schools, where the district also has shut off the fountains after reporting elevated levels of lead,” the article said.

"'I'm scared to drink that water because, over a period of time, it will affect you,'' said [Kiara]Vivian, an 800-meter track team member who is worried because she consumed the water often during practice.’”

Indeed, though a deputy assistant superintendent stayed after with twenty concerned students the same day of the protest, students across all schools are nervous about what this all means and when they’ll get their drinking water back.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

3/22/2016

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