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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesTHE SIBILLY SCHOOL WATER FIASCO

THE SIBILLY SCHOOL WATER FIASCO

Dear Source,
Parents & faculty at Sibilly School have a lot to be concerned about with the most recent water results of the drinking water at the Joseph Sibilly School. I recently completed my first year as the president of the schools PTA. The mishandling, lack of responsibility, and lack of accountability is a disturbing trend that is developing within our government. Questions still left answered from the 1999-2000 episode of water contamination are:
1) How did the water supply get contaminated?
2) How long was the water contaminated?
3) Why did the Dept. of Education not notify the parents & faculty in a timely manner
4) When will the parents, faculty, & PTA see the results of the "investigation" which is/was supposed to have been conducted by DPNR & the DOE?
5) What are the short term & long term effects of drinking the contaminated water?
On the eve of the opening of the 2000-2001 school year Sibilly School once again was the center of a water contamination scandal. The School principal and myself as the PTA president was notified the Sunday before school was to open about the contaminated water results. We could have opted to cancel the opening of school but in consultation with principal Hill, Commissioner Simmonds, & Superintendent Payne it was decided that school could continue as long as drinking water was provided and the water to the drinking fountains was turned off and signs posted. I felt that in light of the actions taken by the DOE we should go ahead and open school. I had the assurances from the Commissioner and the Superintendent that the PTA leadership would be kept in the loop with updates.
Within 48 hours of the schools opening I drafted and hand delivered a letter to the Commissioner of Education and cc copies to the EPA, Superintendent, Principal Hill, & Mr. Barnes interim leader of the PTA. My letter asked for specific information regarding the products used in the course of repairs & maintenance by the repairs & maintenance division of the DOE during the Summer i.e. cleaners, cistern sealers, floor products etc.
Despite a follow up fax my written requests have been ignored by the leadership in the DOE. I know that the Commissioner & the Superintendent have their hands full with the delays in opening the remaining public schools. But that is no excuse. Are the parents & faculty of the Joseph Sibilly School to believe that there is no one with the DOE’s leadership that can acknowledge a written request? Why has it taken so long to get the latest water results?
I am convinced that the DOE is incapable of managing the bureaucracy that exists within its own agency. Let us be real.
1) Our Government is there only to sustain itself with out regard to the people.
2) Our Government can no longer recognize what is right or wrong.
3) Our Government can not police it self.
I along with many other parents are disgusted with the whole matter. Enough is Enough!
Vinnie Mohanani
St. Thomas

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