An open letter to Mayor Allan Fung, the City of Cranston and the Cranston School Department

The Cranston Herald ·

To the Editor:

On November 1, 2017, dozens and dozens of children and staff inside of Cranston East High School were struck and sickened by carbon monoxide originating from the building. Several students, including my daughter Trinity Briceno, were admitted to Hasbro Children’s Hospital on multiple occasions and dates.

On November 1, 2017, due to carbon monoxide exposure, my daughter needed to be fully resuscitated at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. On multiple occasions her and several other students were admitted and treated under emergency situations with oxygen. My daughter’s blood work confirmed on more than seven occasions in the months of November and December (when she ultimately became so ill she was hospitalized for five days) that she was continuing to be exposed in the building to carbon monoxide. She suffered multiple illnesses and symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide exposure and poisoning and was diagnosed with such. As a result of this she is not able to attend school and is receiving tutoring while recouping.

On November 3, 2017, a private unnamed company was hired to conduct an air quality test for carbon monoxide inside the building. However, that test was clearly and admittedly performed improperly with only snatch grab samples being taken and ventilation systems and vent testing were not performed. The building hygienist did not properly seal the building, did not turn the boiler system on high or for any extended period of time and only tested sections of the building that not only have the highest ceilings but have admitted and reported problems with window leaks. The boiler and ventilation system inside CHSE has known and documented conditions that are in need of repair.

This is not the first time that CHSE has had questionable air quality issues that have sickened students and staff. Reported air quality issues, including carbon monoxide, stem back to 1994 when students, parents and staff complained on numerous occasions of illness. These issues were ultimately never addressed. The city has been made aware of this time and time again with no remedy. Being that there are currently no carbon monoxide detectors in place, our children’s health is at risk.

Therefore, we the parents of Cranston High School East along with key community organizations and members openly request a second test. We ask that an individual third party company along with state building inspectors perform an additional longer-term continual sealed condition test at CHSE. We ask that this test be performed immediately and without hesitation and that any and all issues be addressed, repaired and reported upon findings.

The health and welfare of the students and staff at our school buildings should be of your most paramount concern.

Pauline R. Belal