School district holds town hall on relocating students after asbestos discovery

Parents, teachers and students are demanding answers after two Center City schools were closed due to asbestos.

A town hall was held Monday night to discuss where and when to relocate students forced out of the Science Leadership Academy.

“You need to be held accountable for this. You need to resign," parent Martina Walter said to Superintendent William Hite as the crowd applauded.

"Well, I've got news. I'm not resigning," said Superintendent Hite. The other thing is I'm going to fix this."

Workers discovered asbestos in the building they share with Ben Franklin High School. The building is undergoing a $37 million reconstruction project.

A town hall for displaced Ben Franklin students was held Monday morning.

"The first thing I started with is an apology. An apology because you've had to deal with some frustration. You've had to deal with a lot of anxiety," said Superintendent Hite.

Some aren't buying it.

"What are you going to do to help our students get their education back? Because you've stolen it from them," Diana Moro said as the crowd cheered.

RELATED: 2 Philadelphia schools closed indefinitely due to asbestos

Students and parents are upset they were in a school with disturbed asbestos until officials closed it nearly two weeks ago. The closure followed an already delayed school  year over issues with the building's reconstruction.

"We're going to take two schools full of stressed out kids and we're going to put a wall between them and we're going to spend $37 million dollars that doesn't work and when that backfires and they give us (expletive) cancer and they decide, 'Oh we're sorry,'" said one student.

"To come to a school where you knew these issues was happening and you still decided to keep that information from us that's degrading our character and health and us as human beings you should be ashamed of yourselves," said another student. 

At times the meeting got so heated the principal of SLA had to step in to move things forward.

"I want everybody to be heard, but calling for people's resignations will cause that to stop," he said.

The original plan was to have students in a building by Thursday. That date was moved to Monday so officials can address transportation needs. They are still reviewing building location options.

Councilmember Helen Gym stopped by Good Day Philadelphia on Tuesday to discuss the closures.