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School Pesticide Reform Coalition

Learning Starts with a Healthy Environment

I. Mission Statement:
The School Pesticide Reform Coalition advocates for every child's and school employee's right to an environmentally healthy school. The Coalition works to protect children's and the general public's health by supporting nationwide grassroots action and focusing local, state and national attention on the reduction and, where possible, the elimination of pesticide use at schools.

II. Guiding principles:
The following guiding principles are broad statements designed to guide the work of the Coalition.

Right-to-know. The Coalition recognizes the hazards that pesticides pose to children and other school users and occupants. Anytime pesticides are used, parents, teachers and staff have a right to know through pre-notification and sign posting at the treated areas.

Integrated Pest Management. The Coalition urges schools to adopt Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a program of pest prevention, monitoring and control, which eliminates or drastically reduces pesticides used at schools. IPM allows the use of the least toxic pesticide only as a last resort, thus minimizing the toxicity of and exposure to any pesticide products that are used.

Least Hazardous Pest Control Option. The Coalition promotes policies and practices that require schools to choose the least hazardous pest management option. If a school decides it needs to use a pesticide, it shall use the least hazardous pesticide available. It is important to remember that all pesticides are poisons designed to harm living organisms, and should be handled carefully and with respect. Applicators should be state licensed or certified and wear proper clothing, gloves a filter mask, and other protective gear as appropriate to the material being applied.

Pest Prevention. The Coalition promotes policies and practices in which pest prevention is the primary IPM strategy. Reducing or eliminating pests' food, water, shelter and entry are key ingredients. Schools can prevent pest problems through proper sanitation and housekeeping, pest-proofing waste disposal, structural maintenance, good soil health, and other long-term, non-chemical strategies.

Knowledge. Coalition members work to ensure that school community members (staff, students, parents, administration, taxpayers) have a working understanding of the value and practice of IPM, which is a proven effective, economical pest management program.

Self-sustaining Programs. The Coalition works to empower the school community to develop self-sustaining IPM programs. Self-sustaining means that participants understand their roles in the IPM system, and that they will work and communicate effectively with others to enhance the system and improve it over the long-term.

Pesticide Reform. The primary goal of working as a coalition is to build awareness, support, resources and pressure for national, state and local pesticide reform.

III. How the Coalition Functions:
Beyond Pesticides facilitates the Coalition in order to bring local and national activists together to enable strategic thinking and coordination of a multi-state effort to address school pesticide use.

IV. Coalition Members:
The Coalition is made up of 25 groups including the Agricultural Resources Center (NC), Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Beyond Pesticides, California Safe Schools, Californians for Pesticide Reform, Center for Health, Environment and Justice, Environment and Human Health (CT), Environment California, Healthy Schools Network, Improving Kids' Environment (IN), IPM Institute of North America, Kids for Saving Earth, LocalMotion (MI), Maryland Pesticide Network, Mississippi 2020 Network, New Jersey Environmental Federation, New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Pennsylvania Clean Water Action, Safer Pest Control Project (IL), Texans for Alternatives to Pesticides, Toxics Action Center (MA), Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Virginia Health and Environment Project, and Washington Toxics Coalition.

For more information about the Coalition, please contact:

Michele Roberts
Program Director
Beyond Pesticides.
701 E Street, S.E. Suite 200
Washington DC 20003
202-543-5450 ext 19
202-543-4791 fax
mroberts@beyondpesticides.org