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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Inspections determine schools safe

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dan Schroeder
Schools involved in the Elementary Building Renovation Project are safe.

On Monday, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Division of Fire and Building Safety inspected the three Brazil City Schools, Meridian, Forest Park and East Side Elementary.

"They reviewed our paperwork and inspected the fire alarms," Clay Community Schools Supt. Dan Schroeder said. "They determined the schools are safe."

According to Schroeder, Brazil City Fire Department officials normally look at schools and determine their safety. Where as Van Buren, Clay City and Staunton Elementary are routinely looked at by the state because they are out of the city jurisdiction.

"The state received a complaint and so they came to investigate," he said. "All of the schools under construction have been seen by the state, and they found no major safety protocols that were violated."

With rumors that have been circulating concern the safety of the schools, Schroeder is pleased to have the rumors put to rest.

"It feels good because the fire and safety alarms were tested during construction and now the state has come in with their OK," he said. "I hope this assures the public that the schools were safe when school year began and they are safe now."

Phone to calls to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Division of Fire and Building Safety were not returned.

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Now that the Department of Homeland Security has certified has signed on on fire safety, does that mean that the schools were safe on the first day of school or that they are safe in all respects now. I think not, or the schools would be done, with a completed Certificate of Occupancy. Who checked the air quality, that OSHA regulations are being followed, that the children are not being endangered by being in the work zone? Who would win a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is something tragic happened because the children were forced to attend school in a construction zone? As a matter of fact, were background checks completed on all of the construction workers? Who do we have on our school grounds and in our buildings?

Why wasn't the contracts written so that construction went on around the clock, cutting the time in days to one third?

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 10:13 PM

"makes one feel really safe."

That's exactly it. It has nothing to do with actual safety except having an illusion of safety and a series of procedures that can be ticked off in case there's a lawsuit. Don't get me wrong, in our country we are law suit happy and if a child were to get hurt the school would have to show in the courtroom that they took all 'usual and customary' steps to prevent harm. It should not make people complacent to think that their child is as safe as he would be in your arms at home.

Even the locked doors and buzzer systems are for show as there are MANY ways to gain entrance into the schools if someone wants to do someone harm. There are just fewer ways now.

The world is full of risks and we need to train our children to be diligent and prepared to deal with them and do it without making them paranoid about it...A delicate balance and ultimately a parent's job.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 8:55 AM

Accidents happen, but they happen far more often in construction areas than they do in completed buildings. I have seen or heard of grown men who work with power tools on a daily basis pick one up and get hurt with it, electricians touch a wire that they had confirmed was not carrying a current five minutes prior and die of electrocution, explosions caused by someone's error of leaving a valve open on a tank of gas, and heavy equipment run right through walls of buildings. No parent, in their right mind, is going to take their elementary age children down to the construction site to play.

Phrases such as "calculated risk" and "reasonable risk" are very easy to use before a tragedy happens. It is very easy to say that things are safe before something goes wrong. These phrases are often used to try to justify decisions that were based upon poor judgment or poor information after something bad happens by people who made the decision knowing that they were putting nothing at stake. These phrases remind me of the military terms that are used by people from the rear who are not going to be at risk such as "acceptable loses" but I've never heard them from anyone who was going to put their life at risk to get the job done, was looking into the faces of the men in the unit who were liable to become those casualties, or heard of a corpse telling anyone that dying was worth the accomplishment.

What did the leaders of the corporation put at risk with this decision? They can find another job, but can a parent replace a child or will those decision-makers have to deal with an injured child if that occurs?

There were options available to get these buildings renovated without having the children present. One, the contract could have stipulated that the work be completed as swiftly as possible by working around the clock. Another option would have been to work on one building at a time while temporarily teaching the students at other schools. These were not explored, at all.

I'd like to know who the signatories for the school corporation on these contracts are. I'm betting that most of them work in the Central Office, which is going to have to be replaced in the near future. Since parents have been forced to send their children into a construction zone, I believe it appropriate that when we build a new Central Office any of the signers of the contract be moved to the construction site as soon as the foundation for the walls are poured. I will do one better than they did, however, I will give them a hard hat to wear as I have several that I have no need for.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 9:21 AM

The real story about returning into the construction sight schools is that there was no concern about the air quality and safety of students and teachers. The students and teachers have eye infections, hacking coughs and breathing problems because of dust, dirt and abestos. Each day as the construction continues more dangerous poisons are put into the air. Parents should really be appalled about how horrible the air quality is in the constuction schools.

-- Posted by 5longyears on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 9:48 AM

The second week of school my son had a cough and had a hard time catching his breath and had bloodshot eyes when he came home from school. He does not have asthma. So I can only imagine what kids with asthma or other breathing problems are dealing with. I think they should of made sure the construction was done before school started and if it wasnt then they should of put off starting school until it was finished! But they gotta have kids in school to get the big bucks from the state. Its sad that money is more important than childrens safety and health.

-- Posted by lillyblossom on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 4:53 PM

I guess we have to find something to wine about

-- Posted by Thorn44 on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 5:26 PM

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