Daily News Archive
Safe Schools Celebrates Seven Years Of Pesticide Policy Reform
The week-long tribute to the policy ended on Saturday as parents, students, and community members, some coming from as far away as Sacramento, were treated to an innovative and interactive IPM Workshop at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Speakers included Caltech Microbiologist, Mitzi Shpak, Robert Hamm, Deputy Director of Los Angeles Unified Maintenance Operations, and Robina Suwol, Executive Director of California Safe Schools.
The Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) began after children were inadvertently sprayed with an herbicide at Sherman Oaks Elementary School in 1998. The sustained success of this program is a point of pride for students, parents, and school administrators alike, all of who worked together to implement the reform.
"Creating the first policy in the United States that embraced the Precautionary Principle and Parents Right to Know was groundbreaking. To see it so beautifully implemented and sustained is deeply gratifying," said Robina Suwol, founder and Executive Director of CSS.
IPM requires the use of methods to control pests and weeds that pose the lowest risk to human health. Because children are more sensitive to chemical exposures than are adults, IPM in schools is considered to be especially important to protect kids' health. The "precautionary principle," is the idea that if the consequences of an action are unknown, but are judged to have some potential for major or irreversible negative consequences, then it is better to avoid that action. Parents Right to Know, is the value that parents should be informed of any exposure to toxins their children may face while in the care of school administrators.
Dr. Cathie-Ann Lippman, a Beverly Hills physician actively involved with the implementation of the innovative pesticide policy congratulated the School Board, "Thank you for the courage to create this opportunity to improve the health of our community. With this common focus, working together, anything is possible - including providing a healthy learning environment for our children, their children, and generations to come."
Florence Avenue Teacher added, "As the teacher representative on
the IPM Team, I appreciate IPM's focus on reducing and eliminating toxic
chemicals from the school site. IPM is a wonderful program that works
to support the health of students and teachers. "
California Safe Schools is the only non-profit organization exclusively dedicated to protecting school children from pesticides. A coalition of more than fifty organizations and many individuals, CSS leads a successful campaign to implement the safest pesticide policy ever adopted in the United States protecting 800,000 children in the nation's second-largest school district.
For more information
Website : California