Parent’s Voices to SMMUSD

Dear SMMUSD Board,

I’m guessing from your inaction for the past 10 months that none of you have children of your own nor beloved teachers in your lives. Because if you did you would have taken a leadership role long ago, spending the hundreds of thousands of dollars on testing and remediation instead of attorney fees to protect yourselves. How do we parents get equal access to those taxpayer dollars to protect our beloved children and teachers? Please tell me how?

It is time to do the right thing! Stop hiding behind legalese memos to the community and use our taxpayer dollars to thoroughly test and remediate. You need to immediately identify and provided a safe and clean alternate location for school to take place. How else will our children be educated and our teachers feel secure that their health is not at risk every time they walk thru the door to do what they love.

Parents have a right to know what their children are being exposed to at school, so we can make educated decisions about the level of risk our families are willing to assume. This is not a school district’s choice to make for parents.

I believe Malibu Unites has made the following requests of Sandra Lyons and the SMMUSD board and this brief but important summary elaborates on what action needs to take place immediately:

1. Provide a PCB-free alternative for students and teachers, effective September 19 while:

2. Testing caulk in all pre-1979 classrooms (test sources) (this was EPA’s request in their Jan 27th letter to Lyon)

3. Remove all PCB’s that violate TSCA (50ppm) (in Jan 27th EPA letter)

4. Re/ allocate Bond BB and ES to remediate or build classrooms free of toxic chemicals like PCB, lead, asbestos as the bond measure was original designed for.

Parents of 7th Grader and 3rd Grader

Steve and Teri Carcano


It has come to my attention as well as many parents that the school board has spent a substantial amount of money that should be slated for cleaning up the school on attorneys to defend the board against culpability in hiding the environmental problems at Malibu Middle and High School. I think it’s unacceptable.
This school is a dilapidated and antiquated building that should be torn down and rebuilt. We live in an affluent enough community that our kids should not have to attend school in old, ready for demolition buildings that are loaded with toxic caulking.
It is my belief that this school board is not at all concerned with what happens in Malibu. Since every school board member is from Santa Monica, I feel that they are only concerned with what happens in the Santa Monica schools.
It is my sincere hope that we find a way to throw out the current board members and vote in new members who will be more forthcoming with information and take more of an interest in Malibu schools.
Abby Bloch
parent of a 6th and a 9th grader
Dear SMMUSD and Superintendent Lyon:
I’m shocked and appalled by this ineptitude under your jurisdiction. 
I have a 9th grader and a daughter at Point Dume.  My dad worked for Westinghouse and he worked with PCBs that Monsantos made.  Monsantos knew the PCBs may cause cancer and from what I understand they told this to Westinghouse.  However Westinghouse did not pass this information on to their workers.  My father and others who worked with the chemical were supposed to wear protective clothing and leave their clothes at the plant to be washed there so the chemicals were not exposed to their family.  There was a lawsuit brought against Monsantos and Westinghouse and the judge said that there was no doubt in his mind that my dad’s death was due to exposure to PCBs but the way the law is set up in VA the corporations are protected and a lawsuit was not possible.  And each time it was discussed in the paper it was quickly quieted by people.  My dad is not the only one who was effected by this.  So many people that my dad worked with have died of cancer.
In the 70s when PCBs were outlawed people came in the middle of the night and put the PCBs in barrels and buried the barrels in the ground behind Westinghouse. The barrels leaked and the drinking and river waters were contaminated.  There is a very high level of autism in the county that I live in.
We have had some attorneys in LA look into the case but again because of the way the laws are in VW there was not much that could be done but I expect the laws in California are very different.
Kim Cunningham
Dear Ms. Lyon,

Thanks for this politically correct answer.

But parents are neither confused nor incompetent, many of us have master degrees or PHD’s. And we do not lobbying for any interest group neither.
“Standards” are nice to have as a kind of guideline but we all do have a problem here, which will not get away
pointing to such standards and agencies. Our kids don’t have the time and can’t risk their health to proof existing test standards wrong.
Imagine your own kids would have to return to school in 4 weeks, and have various symptoms developed already over the last 2 years
of attending the schools. And you as parent now have to explain them that this is perfectly fine, nothing to worry about – because some test protocols, agencies and the Superintendent say so.
We need a solution here – not a legal defense, no finger pointing, no political agendas and no blame games.
By writing these type of “calm down” round mails rather than offer quick outstanding and out-of-the-box-solutions you make yourself a target.
And we don’t want you a target, we ask you to help and provide pragmatic solutions.
Please forget for a second your official helm and try to watch it from our end:
3 teachers have developed cancer, multiple others including kids have developed typical symptoms and the schools director and his assistant
have left one of the best schools in the country at the same time this summer. After Mr. Block had surgery….
And then independent test results provide additional facts showing the highest PBC concentration ever, 7,000 times higher.
Would you really trust standards and agencies with the life of your kids ?
So with all do respect, we are not lobbying here: Please help us, we need your lead and can’t do it without you.
Heiko Schmidt


Dear SMMUSD and Superintendent Lyon:

Parents have the right to know what their children are being exposed to. Time is up. We are demanding you test the sources at MHS and Juan Cabrillo (JC) and immediately share all raw data with parents. Until that time, we do not feel comfortable sending our children into MHS /JC classrooms. We demand SMMUSD immediately accept and take the following actions to address the situation: ….

We moved to Malibu in part because of the great school system.  But the schools have to be safe!  And they will not be great if you keep losing talented administrators and staff.
Enough is enough, please take the appropriate and needed actions.


Beth Lucas


Dear SMMUSD and Superintendent Lyon:

We will say that, up until yesterday’s report issued by PEER, we thought you were acting with best intentions.  We would say to people who asked how the school was, “We’re waiting for test results.”  Over and over, you all assured us that you would act on our behalf to ensure the safety of our children.  No we see we have been duped.  

We will no longer listen to your “assurances.”  

We are demanding you test the sources at MMS, MHS and JC and immediately share all raw data with parents. Until that time, we do not feel comfortable sending our seventh grader into MMS, MHS, or JC classrooms. We demand SMMUSD immediately accept and take the following actions to address the situation: …..
We expect your response to be swift and positive to our demands.


Mark and Sky Kunerth


Dear SMMUSD and Superintendent Lyon:

I am appalled at the news of Malibu schools  PCB levels! Parents have the right to know what their children are being exposed to. Time is up. We are demanding you test the sources at MHS and JC and immediately share all raw data with parents. Until that time, we do not feel comfortable sending our child(ren) into MHS /JC classrooms….
Romy Karz Paoport
Concerned of Student Gabriel Rapoport, 3 years at Juan Cabrillo, 4 years at MHS