Parents, students react after Rochester Prep announces move to new location

The announcement was made before a meeting Thursday night

Rochester, N.Y (WROC_TV) - Renee Anderson learned about possible contamination at her son's school the way no parent wants to.

"He said, ‘can you pick me up? We're having a protest at our school. It’s about the air.’ I said, wait a minute, I haven't heard anything about this?"

Anderson's concerns brought her to a meeting Thursday, scheduled for parents looking for answers. The New York State Department of Health and school officials were on hand.

"I heard a lot of apologies. They apologized and acknowledged they broke the trust between teachers and parents,” she said.

News 8 wasn't allowed inside, but a spokeswoman for the charter school says although they don't believe anyone's in danger, they decided to relocate to make sure students, staff and parents “feel safe."

The building is an old warehouse. In 2009, before it was used as a school building, the DEC found low levels of a toxic chemical called TCE.

The DEC’s been cleaning up the site since then.

"At low levels, there's not a lot of information about how it acts on people's bodies, so our idea is to keep the levels as low as possible. There's remedial systems on the building that do that,” Justin Deming, a public health specialist with NYS Department of Health said.

"This has been going on since 2009,” parent Tamesha Beckford said, “There are people in there from the department of health and more that have known about this.”

Sophomore lyric Johnson agreed and says the move didn't happen soon enough.

"I told my mom I wanted to get checked out because I’ve been there since I was a 9th grader,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Rochester Prep said the students will start sharing a building with Exploration Charter School in the beginning of January.

They will have the next week off school.


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