ASBESTOS IN A CITY SCHOOL | 'I don't feel safe with my babies coming back here'
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Tempers flared in West Baltimore, as parents are livid over a planned construction project at Rosemont Elementary and Middle School.
They're upset over a scheduled roof replacement.
The conversation was loud and tense at a meeting Wednesday night. Asbestos is present in the school's roof.
Parents are worried about any possible risks to their children, and some have already taken their kids out of class.
"After they tear up the roof and stuff, they still want the kids to come back to school," said parent Donald Johnson. "They say it's 100 percent safe. Ain't nothing 100 percent safe when you're dealing with asbestos."
Construction is scheduled to start in January - "as soon as they come back from Christmas break," said parent April Bailey.
It's expected to last through the school year until June.
Work would be done after school hours each day.
"They said the children had to be out by 3 o'clock," Bailey said.
"You can't leave it open and try to fix the problem at night and then send them to school the next day," said parent Bryant Whitener.
The district's director of health and safety promises parents every precaution will be taken.
"Air quality reports will be available prior to school starting every day of the project," said Alice Watson. "Just because there is asbestos in the building does not make the building dangerous or hazardous."
"I don't feel safe with my babies coming back here," Lakesha Diggs said. She has already taken her kids out of the school. "They won't be back until we get some answers."
Parents don't just have health concerns, but are also worried after school tutoring and sports programs will be canceled.
"We're just going to keep fighting," Bailey said. "Because what they want us to do, is cave in and say, 'OK, there's a schedule. There's a budget.' But at the end of the day, as parents, we have to think more about the children's health."
Rosemont is a charter school affiliated with Coppin State University.
Parents plan to reach out to the university and the Baltimore City School Board next saying they're not done fighting.