Written by Rick Smith Wednesday, 10 June 2009 17:40At the last Glen Cove school board meeting held on June 8, I asked Dr. Aronstein, our superintendent, about a rumor I had heard about a student falling off the high school roof. Dr. Aronstein confirmed that indeed there was a student on the roof who got up there somehow, to retrieve a ball, and then jumped, not fell, off, breaking his leg. I commented that I hadn’t seen any report of this in the newspapers or heard about it at any board meetings and his response was that many children get up on the roof, and to paraphrase him, it was not an issue worth a story in the paper. What an outrageous comment!
When the high school was built in 1962, great care was taken in the design to prevent anyone who should not be there from getting up on the roof. There is no internal or external stairway leading up to the 13 roofs. The only access I know of is from a steel ladder leading to a hatch in the roof, which is in an obscure supply room, presumably locked. The lowest roofs are nearly 20 feet above the ground, so the only way up is via an extension ladder or by climbing up on any number of objects next to the building, a fact which I pointed out. I also pointed out a fenced, but unlocked gas main and meter enclosure which is very dangerous left open, and also provides easy access to the roof.
Dr. Aronstein, despite his comments to the contrary, seems to have no interest in the health and safety of the students. I specifically warned him of the fact that children were getting up on the roof and the extreme danger it posed, after seeing graffiti on a second floor classroom window. That was last September 8, when I made a report to the school board and the administration about my findings about the condition of the roofs. Since then, nothing has been done that I know of and not only have many children been on the roof according to Dr. Aronstein, but one that we now know of, was badly hurt and others, more recently, started a fire which could have destroyed the entire school! And there is more.
Newsday reported last Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency is rethinking their approval of the use of recycled rubber tires for tracks such as the one currently under construction at the high school. It seems that there is not enough information available about the danger posed by rubber as a playground or track surface. I brought this information to everyone’s attention and was met with a lame report by Guy Forman about the fact that our track is going to be made of new rubber, not recycled rubber.
That is not the point. All rubber, whether new or old might be made with the same chemicals, some of which according to the four reports I gave Dr. Aronstein, cause cancer and other diseases! I strongly advised halting the project until the safety of the strongly smelling proposed material, which we were first shown last month, could be established. We will now see how much Dr. Aronstein cares for the health and safety of the community and its children.