Sunday, February 16, 2014

Can Anything Good Come from a Seizure?

FIRST POSTED APRIL 2012           
             Since Feb.15, 2012 I have asked myself if anything good can come from my wife's respiratory arrest and seizure while in her classroom at Jenny Lind Elementary. Her medical emergency has haunted me because from what I now understand, it was completely avoidable.
I believe the reason my wife (a special education teacher) had the medical emergency is because there was no maintenance done on the HVAC (Heating/ Ventilation/Air-Conditioning) system over an extended period of time. Only after my wife (and her assistants) started to have severe headaches and other harsh symptoms, did CUSD Maintenance Dept. reluctantly assess and maintain the HVAC system. But it was too late; the damage was already done: exposure (over time) to inadequate/poor air quality from a 24 year old portable. Unfortunately, this type of environmental hazard can be highly toxic and debilitating. On Feb. 15, 2012 my wife left JLE in an ambulance with a blood pressure of 196/103. (Her normal BP is 115/70). Her respiratory arrest and seizure were witnessed by a fireman, the entire JLE administration, staff members, and students.
Can I be bold enough to say that budget issues and deferred maintenance are now putting people—students, teachers, assistants--at very high risk for their health and well-being? Could what happened to this Special Education Teacher happen to your child? I fear the answer is, "yes." Because I know about the current conditions and the history of ongoing issues with moisture and mold at JLE, I would be hesitant about having my child enrolled in a JLE classroom--(especially if their classroom was a portable). I would pull my child from JLE until Calaveras Unified could verify that the HVAC system(s) had been serviced (by a trained/certified individual) as required by state law. I would demand to see the maintenance logs dating back at least two years. I asked for the maintenance logs for room #61 (my wife’s room) and CUSD did not supply any record of ongoing HVAC maintenance. A record of filter changes and maintenance does not appear to exist ... because the maintenance is not being done. There is no protocol being followed, tracked, or verified. It seems the only time they maintain a system is when someone complains of having a headache or gets severely sick. Who is going to be the next victim at JLE?  What worries me the most is that School administrators did not notify the families or school community at large of the current condition of classrooms (51, 52 & 53)--closed due to mold and moisture.
The only way to stop this (as participants in an educational community) is to demand verification of required maintenance. Demand that all issues pertaining to mold, moisture, and maintenance be presented immediately (in writing or by phone) to all parents of JLE students. There should be complete up-front honesty (no secrecy) concerning all matters that can affect the health and well-being of JLE students and staff. But I fear, because of inadequate school funds, this same scenario will play out again; unfortunately it's just a matter of time.

For more information concerning these maintenance, moisture, and mold issues at Jenny Lind Elementary go to  There is also a link at this site to view current photos of conditions of the classrooms and portables at JLE. Information provided by Allen Lujan.

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