"That water smells."
"It tastes funny."
"Ew, you drink that?"
These are a few quotes I wrote down in my blog journal over the past year and didn't quite know what to do with until now. Originally I thought of including them in blog about lunch complaints, but with the Flint crisis and now all this lead pipe talk, I guess it's time to put them to use.
A kid last year jumped up and broke open one of the sprinkler heads and flooded my floor with black water. This is not a Game of Thrones reference. This water had been in the pipes for so long that it was dark brown and pitch black where it pooled. It smelled horrible. I'm not a plummer so I have no idea if that was normal, but it didn't feel normal.
I always heard stories from some of the veteran teachers about how all the lead smelting and resulting clean ups well into the 1990s. A pair of Dallas Morning news articles about the issue tell the story better than I can. Part 1 and Part 2.
I agree with the articles that this is what environmental racism looks like. Talking about the district as a whole, it makes no sense that the water and pipers aren't regularly tested. Whether there is a problem with the water and pipes or not, it should still be tested regularly because the kids and teachers drink from it every single day. First carbon monoxide, now lead. There are kids walking around without all their shots and a plethora of undiagnosed or untreated conditions that pose serious public health risks. There was a kids with scarlet fever earlier this year. Is this the 1700s? Is this Little House on the Prairie? Do I need to take the horse into town for some feed and burlap sacks? If the answer to any or all of those questions is no, then all of us, but especially Dallas ISD, need to stop arguing about who runs the schools and how so we can start making sure our kids aren't poisoning themselves at the water fountain.
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