Parents fed up after McClure Elementary School closed twice over asbestos concerns

Parents are fed up after McClure Elementary School was closed twice over asbestos concerns. Some parents are taking matters into their own hands and homeschooling their children.

FOX 29's Jeff Cole reports.

Ornaments mark the Northeast Philadelphia grave of Richard Figueroa, Jr. The 2-year-old boy lost his life to liver cancer in September. In their Hunting Park neighborhood, his young parents cling to their shy 4-year-old Abby.

"It’s the only thing I got so I want to make sure everywhere she goes she’s good," Richard Figueroa said.

Abby will start kindergarten at McClure Elementary in the fall, but the asbestos found in the aging building has her parents deeply worried.

"I wouldn’t want her to go to a school knowing she could get sick. It's the only child I have left," Figueroa explained. 

FOX 29 has obtained pictures of McClure taken before the school opened for just two days last week and was suddenly closed when elevated levels of tiny asbestos fibers were found in the air on an upper floor. The images show sections of the school cordoned off or covered with plastic sheeting.

In a letter to parents Wednesday, the district wrote it plans to finish cleaning and testing in all hallways and classrooms by Sunday but added McClure will not reopen until test results are favorable.

In the meantime, parents say they’re homeschooling their idle children while the Figueroa family mourns their son and question whether their daughter should attend McClure in the fall. 


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McClure Elementary closed Friday following latest asbestos test results

2 Philadelphia elementary schools close after asbestos discovery

Philadelphia School District, teachers union spar over asbestos test results

Officials: McClure Elementary School to remain closed through Jan. 24 following asbestos test results

The results of the latest air quality tests will be made available on McClure's website


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