Monday, September 29, 2008
SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT OWES CITIZENS, GROUPS, AN APOLOGY OVER MOCKING ORGANOPHOSPHATE PESTICIDE CONCERNS
Our school superintended is quoted (see below) as saying, "We don't have now and never have had any concerns about the children and pesticides at South Woods," he said. "My own wife works at the school. I wouldn't leave her in the midst of a toxic cocktail."
Sounds like cognitive dissonance without data to me. Sounds like yet another baby-talking public official denying the bleeding obvious, like the U.S. Department of Energy's response to pollution in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. DOE (DENIER OF EVERYTHING) kicked people in the teeth the same way Joyner has done. SOunds like Joyner has emotional problems with First Amendment protected activity. He sounds mean.
Get real, Mr. Superintendent. People have a right to ask questions. Get off your high horse and treat them with dignity, respect and consideration.
Also sounds like there's a reason the School Board altered its anti-nepotism policy a few yearfs ago. What's the superintendent's wife doing working as a teacher in the same system in which he works? Who voted to change the policy and why?
The St. Augusine Record reports that "Pesticide Action Network North America, or PANNA, said 37 air samples taken near the school last year contained four potentially hazardous pesticides. The latest air samples were taken from Oct. 1 to Dec. 6.
"Parents should be concerned," said Karl Tupper, a scientist for PANNA. "The school board should be concerned."
Joyner's no scientist and his non-denial denials remind me of Anderson County, Tennessee School Superintendent PAUL EURGENE BOSTIC, SR. and his cavalier dismissal of asbestos as a school hazard during the early 1980s. BOSTIC was wrong and the parents and environmentaliists were right.
Just once, we'd like to see a Southern school superintendent who's more of a scholar and less of a bully. \
The Record quotes a nasty Joyner, who "accused the group of using scare tactics to draw attention to its cause," stating inter alia, "In my view, this group is focused on being able to manipulate the media," he said. "It's just disappointing to me that they use fear as their tactic."
Joyner sounds off the wall -- stigmatizing protected activity under our First Amendment -- he sounds like a tobacco company responding to obvious facts.
There are no safe levels of pesticides for children.
The School Board was dumb as a coal bucket to stick a school amidst pesticide-using farms. Its decisionmaking must be investigated.
The Record reports "PANNA said it found four pesticides in the air samples - endosulfan, diazinon, trifluralin and chlorothalonil."
The Record reports a cognitive miser (our school superintendnent) as saying,
"No kids have been reported sick," Joyner said.
Cancer has long latency periods.
Joyner sounds like an anti-literate energumen. He owes us all an apology.
At least EPA has an open mind and looking to find facts. "The children's health issues raised by PANNA are important ones that EPA takes seriously," agency spokesman Dale Kemery said in a statement.
Ignorant "Officials at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are" also reportedly "reviewing the PANNA report, but they don't believe there is a problem, either.
"All of the pesticide levels reported, including the maximum values, appear to remain below levels of concern used by U.S. EPA and other Federal agencies," the agency's Bureau of Pesticides chief Dennis Howard said Wednesday in a letter to David Lee, the school district's building code administrator. Sounds like a man with a paper head. There are no safe levels of pesticides for children.
A neighbor told the record "she's not giving up and plans to test the air near her home again this fall" because of the noisome chlorine smell. Ms. Hunt says, ""I'd like to see them come clean," she said. "Just be honest about it."
Is that too much to ask?
How about public officials who actually listen to people?
Is that too much to ask?