America Unites for Kids Prevails Against the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District As The Court Orders the School District to Remove ALL PCBS

The Honorable Judge Percy Anderson ruled that Malibu High School & Juan Cabrillo Elementary have illegal levels of PCBs.

The court found them in violation of Federal Law: Toxic Substance Control Act

The court ordered the district to remove all PCBs by 2019.

This ruling confirms how unconscionable the School District has been to spend $13 million to avoid complying with federal law

See Court Order here:

AMERICA UNITES FOR KIDS vs. SMMUSD RE COURT GRANTS INJUNCTIVE RELIEF TO PLAINTIFF 2 15 cv 02124 PA-AJW

POINTS: FROM JUDGE PERCY ANDERSON:

“The Court concludes, based on common sense, that it is highly likely that the same products were used to construct each of the buildings on the Malibu Campus. As a result, for the buildings completed at the Malibu Campus prior to 1979, and at which certain locations have been tested and found to contain caulk with PCBs in excess of 50 ppm, it is more likely than not that caulk containing PCBs in excess of 50 ppm remain in “use” at the Malibu Campus in areas that have not been tested or repaired.”

“Although Defendants have removed and replaced the caulk from the specific areas and rooms identified in their testing as exceeding the 50 ppm threshold, and some other areas may have had doors and windows repaired or replaced after 1979, there is no evidence that all of the caulk in the buildings at the Malibu Campus constructed prior to 1979 has been tested or removed.”

JUDGE PERCY ANDERSON ORDERED THAT:

“Defendants are hereby permanently enjoined from using any office, classroom, or other structure at Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (‘JCES’) and Malibu Middle and High School (‘MHS’) (collectively the ‘Malibu Campus’) constructed prior to 1979 in which students, teachers, administrators, or staff are regularly present after December 31, 2019, unless all window and door systems and surrounding caulk at any such location has been replaced.”

CURRENT HEALTH ISSUES WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT MALIBU SCHOOLS

6 teachers with thyroid cancer;
4 alumni (28-year-old) with thyroid cancer;
1 current student with thyroid disease, possible thyroid cancer
25 teachers with thyroid disease (including 14 of 30 Malibu Middle School teachers);
10 alumni in their 20s with thyroid disease;
1 alumni (22-year-old) with environmentally induced melanoma;
2 current teachers with environmentally induced melanoma;
1 teacher hospitalized from an environmentally-induced rash;
1 current student with an environmentally-induced rash lasting several months
innumerable cases of headaches; persistent rashes; daily migraines; infertility issues; hair loss; immune issues; respiratory issues; and diabetes.

Judgment and Permanent Injunction against the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District:

See Court Order here:

AMERICA UNITES FOR KIDS vs. SMMUSD RE COURT GRANTS INJUNCTIVE RELIEF TO PLAINTIFF 2 15 cv 02124 PA-AJW

AMERICA UNITES FOR KIDS vs .SMMUSD RE FINDINGS OF FACTS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW 2 15 cv 02124 PA-AJW

The SMMUSD Board of Education people should not be running this school district as they spent $13 million of our tax payer money to NOT-protect the teachers, to NOT-protect the students, and now that they have been proven wrong in a Court of Law, they are STILL not taking responsibility and continue to put their students and teachers at risk!

Email the Santa Monica Unified School District’s Board of Education and tell them to stop wasting our money and destroying lives:

brd@smmusd.org

Oscar de la Torre
odelatorre@smmusd.org
Dr. Jose Escarce
jescarce@smmusd.org
Craig Foster
cfoster@smmusd.org
Maria Leon-Vazquez
mlvazquez@smmusd.org
Laurie Lieberman
President
llieberman@smmusd.org
Ralph Mechur
Vice President
rmechur@smmusd.org
Dr. Richard
Tahvildaran-Jesswein
rtahvildaranjesswein@smmusd.org
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The Ninth Circuit Reversed Summary Judgment in Favor of School District on Claims of Discrimination Under Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act

STUDENT vs. MARK KELLY & THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Disability Discrimination

The 9th Circuit reversed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the school district on claims of discrimination under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, reversed in part the district court’s summary judgment on tort claims under state law, and vacated a costs order in an action brought by a student and parents against a school district and related employees and principals.

Clarifying the standards for disability discrimination claims by disabled children based on access to educational services, the panel stated that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) focuses on making a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) available to disabled students through development of Individualized Education Programs (“IEPs”). The IDEA creates a cause of action for children and parents to pursue injunctive or other prospective relief through a civil action following an administrative due process hearing in order to compel compliance with the Act and proper implementation or modification of the child’s IEP.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is broader than the IDEA; it is concerned with discrimination in the provision of state services to all individuals with disabilities. The regulations adopted pursuant to section 504 require qualifying public schools to “provide a free appropriate public education to each qualified handicapped person.” FAPE is defined differently for purposes of section 504 than it is for the IDEA, and section 504’s regulations gauge the adequacy of services provided to disabled individuals by comparing them to the level of services provided to individuals who are not disabled.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) was modeled after section 504 and sets forth similar requirements for establishing a valid claim. A plaintiff bringing suit under section 504 or Title II of the ADA must show: (1) she is a qualified individual with a disability; (2) she was denied “a reasonable accommodation that [she] needs in order to enjoy meaningful access to the benefits of public services;” and (3) the program providing the benefit receives federal financial assistance.

To prevail on a claim for damages, the plaintiff must also prove a mens rea of intentional discrimination. The panel reversed the district court’s summary judgment on a claim that defendants denied the student meaningful access to educational benefits by violating 34 C.F.R. §§ 104.33(b)(1) and 104.34(a). The panel held that the parents’ consent to the student’s placement did not waive this claim.

The panel reversed the district court’s summary judgment on plaintiffs’ reasonable accommodation claim under section 504 and Title II. The panel concluded that a triable factual dispute existed as to whether the services plaintiffs faulted the school district for failing to provide were actually reasonable, necessary, and available accommodations for the student.

The district court also erred in dismissing plaintiffs’ damages claim for failure to show that the school district was on notice of the need for accommodation.

The 9th Circuit stated:

“To determine whether a defendant’s conduct was outrageous and a plaintiff’s emotional distress severe, courts have traditionally considered “defendant’s knowledge that the plaintiff is peculiarly susceptible to emotional distress by reason of some physical or mental condition.” Lucchesi v. Frederic N. Stimmell, M.D., Ltd., 716 P.2d 1013, 1016 (Ariz. 1986) (in banc).

This focus on the plaintiff’s susceptibility to emotional distress is also referred to as the “eggshell plaintiff” rule. See Yanes v. Maricopa County, No. CV-11-0274, 2012 WL5989327, at *5 n.9 (Ariz. Ct. App. Nov. 8, 2012)

“The Restatement clearly recognizes the application of the eggshell plaintiff rule to claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress.” (citing Restatement (Second) of Torts § 46 cmt. j (Am. Law. Inst. 1965))); see also Restatement (Second) of Torts § 46 cmt. f

“The extreme and outrageous character of the conduct may arise from the actor’s knowledge that the other is peculiarly susceptible to emotional distress, by reason of some physical or mental condition or peculiarity.”

If Plaintiffs can establish that the school district’s conduct was extreme and outrageous, than a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress can occur. Reasonable minds could differ in determining whether conduct is sufficiently extreme or outrageous that an IIED claim should survive summary judgment. Mintz, 905 P.2d at 563.“

Plaintiffs allege that Mark Kelly’s conduct in baiting student was so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency,” Mintz, 905 P.2d at 563. Mark Kelly’s knowledge that the plaintiff is peculiarly susceptible to emotional distress by reason of some physical or mental condition rises to both extreme and outrageous conduct.”  (“eggshell plaintiff” principle)

Some students may have vulnerabilities which necessitate a greater degree of caution on the part of school districts and their employees. In M.W. v. Panama Buena Vista Union School Dist., supra,

Abuse of Power

The extreme and outrageous conduct may take place in the course of a relationship in which the defendant holds authority or other power over the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s interests. If the authority — such as police officers, school authorities, landlords, and collecting creditor — abuse their positions in some extreme manner, they may be liable to the plaintiff for IIED.
PRA requests for employee disciplinary records, investigative reports and/or complaints against public employees
Generally, complaints and/or charges of misconduct against a public employee can/must be disclosed if “the complaint is of a substantial nature and there is reasonable cause to believe the complaint or charge of misconduct is well-founded.” (See Bakersfield City School Dist. v. Superior Court (2004) 118 Cal. App. 4th 1041, 1044; see also BRV, Inc. v. Superior Court (2006) 143 Cal. App. 4th 742.)
See pdf attachment explaining School District’s Public Records Act obligations:

The 9th Circuit also reversed the district court’s summary judgment on claims for assault, battery, and false imprisonment.

See pdf copy of the

A.G. v. Paradise Valley Unified School District

9th Circuit Opinion here:

13-16239

Sadly, there is so much dysfunction at the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District

Other Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District litigation and Errors in Judgment

1. SEVERE BULLYING AT MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL & THE SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT’s RATIFICATION OF THE CONDUCT

Los Angeles Superior Court Complaint

Student vs. Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District;

Sebastian Dane Sartorius; Jordan Clarke et al.

About one in every four children in the United States is bullied regularly. It’s stunning to think that a quarter of our young people are having their lives ruined by the negative actions of others. And when you consider the levels of stress, depression and suicides in youngsters that can be tied in with this worrying epidemic, it brings the issue of bullying even sharper into focus. The situation needs addressing. And fast.

https://www.facebook.com/bullymovie/photos/a.137885059591313.24798.107214895991663/987550114624799/?type=3&theater

Parents of bullies can be sued

The financial and emotional consequences are potentially devastating

See Article here:

http://www.metrokids.com/MetroKids/November-2012/Bullies-parents-can-be-sued/

See Santa Monica Dispatch Article Entitled:

“Victim Becomes Villain in Malibu Controversy”

http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2014/02/victim-becomes-villain-in-malibu-controversy/

A couple of incidents in the bleachers that overlook the swimming pool at Malibu High School two years ago are still reverberating through the school and the community and, ironically, the young victim has become the villain of the piece.

In November and December, 2012, on several occasions, during water polo team practice, a Varsity team player, Sebastian Sartorius committed what have been officially described as “multiple counts of battery” on a younger, smaller Junior Varsity team member who was sitting in the bleachers. On learning of the incident, High School principal Jerry Block removed Sartorius from the team.

Following the incidents, the younger boy left the team and discontinued his 9th grade PE class. He also told officials about two previous instances in which Sartorius had allegedly roughed him up.

Not only did members of both the Junior Varsity and Varsity water polo teams continue to harass the young boy, some parents and students spread stories that the so-called victim had exaggerated, describing what was obviously innocent water polo horseplay as serious assaults. At the same time, an online campaign expressed outrage at Sartorius’ being charged with battery and suspended, and some parents threatened to retaliate by withholding contributions they’d agreed to make to the school.

For more details, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/severe-bullying-at-malibu-high-school-the-smmusds-ratification-of-the-conduct/

IMAG0391

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT COMPLAINT

SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

LIST THE FULL NAME AND JOB TITLE OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS AT SMMUSD (AND/OR MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL) RESPONSIBLE AMENDING/REVERSING CANCELING AND OR OTHERWISE MODIFYING THE DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION OF DEFENDANT SEBASTIAN SARTORIUS ISSUED IN OR AROUND NOVEMBER 2012.

RESPONSE TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

SANDRA LYON, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT.

SIGNED UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY AT SANTA MONICA, CA ON 12/20/2013.

2. STUDENT vs. WENDY WAX GELLIS & THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

This lawsuit alleges that the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis are criminally liable for violations of California Penal Code § 11166 and 11172(a) et seq. for filing a knowingly false child abuse report with child services and the police.

Santa Monica Dispatch Article Concerning Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Retaliatory Acts Against Students and Parents by Filing False Claims of Child Abuse with the Department of Children & Family Services.

See link to News Article here:

http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2009/01/smmusd-vs-student/

The lawsuit alleges that an example of retaliatory action by the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis taken against this family includes knowingly and maliciously filing a false child rape and domestic violence allegation with the local law enforcement and with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in retaliation for parent’s exercise of their federally protected right to bring claims against the SMMUSD before the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

The family alleges that on December 18, 2013, SMMUSD employee named Wendy Wax Gellis made a knowingly false referral to the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and to local law enforcement that parent raped her own son. The allegations were determined by all investigating agencies to be unfounded.

For details of this pending Federal lawsuit go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/santa-monica-dispatch-article-concerning-smmusds-retaliatory-acts-against-students-and-parents-by-filing-false-claims-of-child-abuse-with-the-department-of-children-family-services/

3. Student v SMMUSD:

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 13-55665 &District Court No. 2:12-cv-03059-SVWPJW

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Did Not Act “Reasonably” When It Chose To Conduct An IEP Meeting Without the Parents’ Presence

For details of this other SMMUSD litigation, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/student-vs-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-re-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-did-not-act-reasonably-when-it-chose-to-conduct-an-iep-meeting-without-pa/

*Legal Fees in the amount of $215,000 were approved by the SMMUSD’s Board of Education on June 29, 2015.

See June 29, 2015 Board of Education Minutes: Re: Attorney’s Fee Settlement in the amount of $215,000

http://www.smmusd.org/brd1415/min062915_spmtg.pdf

4. SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT IRRESPONSIBILITY ENDANGERS OUR CHILDREN

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District demonstrates a consistent pattern of evading responsibility for child safety. The SMMUSD has refused to answer questions about teachers who have sexually abused and sexually harassed children, failed to inform parents when their children have been victims of potentially criminal harassment, destroyed evidence concerning harassment of children, asked parents to destroy emails and not talk to each other about teacher sexual harassment of children, removed evidence of child abuse from its own records, impugned the testimony of its own employees who report child abuse, ordered teacher’s aides to not talk to parents, tried to intimidate students and parents, tried to mislead parents about their legal rights, publicly misrepresented its own legal obligations, and violated California state law.

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/smmusd-irresponsibility-endangers-our-children

See link: http://chwe.net/safety/failures.html

5. Other Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Board of Education’s Errors in Judgment:

Superintendent Sandra Lyon Receives a Three Year Contract Extension:

Despite all of the above facts, on July 15, 2015 the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Board of Education has awarded Superintendent Sandra Lyon with a new three year Contract.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Sandra L. Lyon was granted a new three-year contract Wednesday, raising her salary to $239,200 annually, among the highest in California. Sandra Lyon’s total compensation including fringe benefits is hard to determine, although it was put at $282,030 in 2013, according to Transparent California, a website that tracks salary and other compensation for public employees throughout the state.
For details, go to:

It’s time to fire Superintendent Sandra Lyon

See pdf copy:

IT’S TIME TO FIRE SMMUSD’S SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON

See link to Change.org Petition:

https://www.change.org/p/the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-s-board-of-education-it-s-time-to-fire-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-s-superintendent-sandra-lyon

Email the Santa Monica Unified School District’s Board of Education:

brd@smmusd.org

Oscar de la Torre
odelatorre@smmusd.org
Dr. Jose Escarce
jescarce@smmusd.org
Craig Foster
cfoster@smmusd.org
Maria Leon-Vazquez
mlvazquez@smmusd.org
Laurie Lieberman
President
llieberman@smmusd.org
Ralph Mechur
Vice President
rmechur@smmusd.org
Dr. Richard
Tahvildaran-Jesswein
rtahvildaranjesswein@smmusd.org

Malibu High School Has Problems With Cancer, PCBs, Rats, Rodentcides, Drugs, Alcohol, Severe Bullying And Now A Student’s Gun Found On Campus

The attached Declarations from Malibu High School teachers Katy Lapajne and Lisa Lambert includes evidence from 33 other Malibu High School teachers that the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) is not complying with their Best Management Practices (BMPs) and is in violation of the EPA Region 9’s guidelines.

See pdf copies of the Declarations from two Malibu High School Teachers:

DECLARATION OF MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER KATY LAPAJNE

DECLARATION OF MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER LISA LAMBERT

See video of Several Malibu High School Teachers’ Plea to the SMMUSD’s Board of Education for PCB-free Classrooms:

See YouTube Video here:

https://youtu.be/Kg4hIiiovG0

The attached declaration from Malibu High School Parent Matt DeNicola declares that former SMMUSD Board of Education member Ben Allen, now California State Senator Ben Allen admitted in September 2014 that the SMMUSD Board of Education chose not to test for PCBs, because they knew that they would find illegal levels of toxic PCBs and be forced to remove them under the TSCA. (See Matt DeNicola Declaration, pg. 1, paragraph 2)

DECLARATION OF MATT DENICOLA RE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATOR BEN ALLEN

See Declaration from Malibu High School Teacher Carla Bowman Smith declaring that Malibu High School’s condition is horrific, and is infested with rats, feces and urine:

DECLARATION OF MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER CARLA BOWMAN SMITH

See Malibu Times and Malibu SurfSide News Articles dated December 13 & 16, 2015:

http://www.malibusurfsidenews.com/breaking/gun-found-mhs-parking-lot-student-suspended

http://www.malibutimes.com/news/article_d03f7754-a44d-11e5-9656-37961ab76636.html

On December 9, 2015 Malibu High School’s Principal Brandon Gallagher sent out the following email:

From: “Malibu High School” <malibu-bc@smmusd.org>
Date: December 9, 2015 at 3:31:16 PM PST
Subject: Important Announcement
Reply-To: malibu-bc@smmusd.org

December 9, 2015

Dear Malibu High School Community,

At Malibu High School, we take our responsibility for student, staff, and community safety very seriously and are reaching out to our community. Before you receive news from individuals who were not directly involved with a situation at Malibu High School today, I would like to inform our community of proceedings on campus. There was a report of a concern regarding a student at Malibu High School who may have had a firearm in a vehicle used to drive to school. School officials followed up on this information and did discover a firearm in a student vehicle parked at Malibu High School. Law enforcement was immediately notified of the situation. Officers from the Lost Hills Sherriff’s office responded and removed the student from the campus.

The information provided to the school did not involve any threat to students, faculty, or anyone else from the school or community. The situation was handled from start to finish without incident and without disruption to the students or school program. All persons on campus were able to proceed safely through the day.

We realize the sensitivity to violence and weapon use given recent events and assure all families that Malibu High School is and will continue to be a safe place for students, staff, and our community. We take all information of this type very seriously and are grateful to our community and students for helping to inform school officials of possible dangers to our campus. Discipline in these matters is handled in accordance with California Education Code and applicable State and Federal laws. As a reminder to community members, having a firearm on campus is an offense that leads to a recommendation for expulsion.

As a parent of two MHS students myself, I will be talking to my own children tonight about safety and security as a family. I encourage all of our community members to please talk to your children as well. Remind your children to report anything they hear or see that might be suspicious or dangerous by telling an adult, school official, reporting to local law enforcement, or even to the We Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME.

While news like this is never good to report as the first year principal at Malibu High School, I am pleased by the rapid response and professionalism of our staff and law enforcement in resolving this serious situation without incident.

Brandon Gallagher, Ed.D.

Principal, Malibu High School

See email in pdf:

MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL EMAIL CONCERNING STUDENT’S GUN ON CAMPUS

There are many other troubling issues with the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Malibu High School.

1. Student v Wendy Wax Gellis & SMMUSD:

This lawsuit alleges that the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis are criminally liable for violations of California Penal Code § 11166 and 11172(a) et seq. for filing a knowingly false child abuse report with child services and the police.

Santa Monica Dispatch Article Concerning Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Retaliatory Acts Against Students and Parents by Filing False Claims of Child Abuse with the Department of Children & Family Services.

See link to News Article here: http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2009/01/smmusd-vs-student/

The lawsuit alleges that an example of retaliatory action by the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis taken against this family includes knowingly and maliciously filing a false child rape and domestic violence allegation with the local law enforcement and with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in retaliation for parent’s exercise of their federally protected right to bring claims against the SMMUSD before the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

The family alleges that on December 18, 2013, SMMUSD employee named Wendy Wax Gellis made a knowingly false referral to the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and to local law enforcement that parent raped her own son. The allegations were determined by all investigating agencies to be unfounded.

For details of this pending Federal lawsuit go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/santa-monica-dispatch-article-concerning-smmusds-retaliatory-acts-against-students-and-parents-by-filing-false-claims-of-child-abuse-with-the-department-of-children-family-services/

2Severe Bullying at Malibu High School and Superintendent Sandra Lyon’s Ratification of the Conduct:

Student vs. Sebastian Dane Sartorius; Jordan Clarke;

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District et al.

http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2014/02/victim-becomes-villain-in-malibu-controversy/

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/severe-bullying-at-malibu-high-school-the-smmusds-ratification-of-the-conduct/

IMAG0391

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT COMPLAINT

SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

LIST THE FULL NAME AND JOB TITLE OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS AT SMMUSD (AND/OR MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL) RESPONSIBLE AMENDING/REVERSING CANCELING AND OR OTHERWISE MODIFYING THE DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION OF DEFENDANT SEBASTIAN SARTORIUS ISSUED IN OR AROUND NOVEMBER 2012.

RESPONSE TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

SANDRA LYON, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT.

3. PCBS REMOVED FROM SANTA MONICA SCHOOLS BUT LEFT IN MALIBU SCHOOLS

Superintendent Sandra Lyon cares more about protecting landfills than protecting children and teachers.

http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/pcbs-removed-from-santa-monica-schools-but-left-in-malibu.html

CURRENT HEALTH ISSUES WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT MALIBU SCHOOLS

  • 6 teachers with thyroid cancer;
  • 4 alumni  (28-year-old)with thyroid cancer;
  • 1 current student with thyroid disease, possible thyroid cancer
  • 25 teachers with thyroid disease (including 14 of 30 Malibu Middle School teachers);
  • 10 alumni in their 20s with thyroid disease;
  • 1 alumni (22-year-old) with environmentally induced melanoma;
  • 2 current teachers with environmentally induced melanoma;
  • 1 teacher hospitalized from an environmentally-induced rash;
  • 1 current student with an environmentally-induced rash lasting several months
  • innumerable cases of headaches; persistent rashes; daily migraines; infertility issues; hair loss; immune issues; respiratory issues; and diabetes.

All of which has caused America Unites for Kids and PEER to file a citizen’s lawsuit against the SMMUSD.

AMERICA UNITES FOR KIDS & PEER vs. SMMUSD

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT for the CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 2:15-cv-02124-PA-AJW

See link to America Unites for Kids and PEER’s First Amended Complaint against the SMMUSD:

document-52

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/document-52.pdf

The person or persons responsible for the alleged violations are Sandra Lyon and Jan Maez, officials of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District; Oscar de la Torre, Joe Escarce, Maria Leon-Vazquez, Laurie Liebermann, Ralph Mechur, Nimish Patel, Craig Foster, and Richard Tavildaran-Jesswein, current members of the SMMUSD Board of Education.

4. Superintendent Sandra Lyon ordered the use of Fumitoxins and Strychnine on Saturday, Aug 22, 2015 at Malibu High School, Juan Cabrillo and Webster Elementary schools despite hundreds of letters from parents in protest.

Her reckless actions put kids and wildlife at risk. The Fumitoxin Tablet warning label says that re-occupancy cannot occur for a minimum of 72 hours, but based on the weather in Malibu, more likely 5 days. Sandra Lyon told parents that in 48 hours kids could return to the fields.

See America Unites For Kids Freedom of Information Act request dated Aug 22, 2015: Freedom Of Info Act Dec 22-1

See Malibu Parent’s letter to Superintendent Sandra Lyon and Published in the Malibu Times on September 4, 2015:

Malibu Parent’s Letter: Protecting Children

http://www.malibutimes.com/opinion/article_fcd1df0e-51c4-11e5-b14c-f35d240585b1.html?mode=story

Malibu Parent Stacie Cox’ Public Comment about Superintendent Sandra Lyon:

An empathetic and confident leader would make all her decisions based on how to best protect children, and not make decisions based on legally what she can get away with. You seem to act on false information, archaic ideals, and without a conscience. Your behavior is unconscionable and you should be ashamed of yourself.”

Rodenticide use at Malibu Schools Rouses Call for District Separation

See Malibu Times Article here:

http://www.malibutimes.com/news/article_09817ee0-4bb1-11e5-b2b0-7f6db2b94b50.html

See City of Malibu Brochure Re: Poison Free Malibu:

BROCHURE%20Wildlife_antiPoison%20final_201403211343153527

America Unites for Kids link to Change.org’s Petition:

Petitioning SMMUSD Board of Education and Superintendent Sandra Lyon

Stop Poisoning our Children and our Environment

https://www.change.org/p/smmusd-board-of-education-and-superintendent-sandra-lyon-stop-poisoning-our-children-and-our-environment?recruiter=92014425&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=des-md-no_src-custom_msg&fb_ref=Default

5. The City of Malibu Unanimously Passes a Resolution to Form an Independent Malibu Unified School District

See link to Resolution here: CC150916_Item-1

6. THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS FAILED ITS AFRICAN AMERICAN, HISPANIC, DISABLED & ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS AT MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL, SANTA MONICA HIGH SCHOOL & JOHN MUIR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/the-santa-monia-malibu-unified-school-districts-caaspp-results-has-failed-its-african-american-hispanic-economically-disadvantaged-students-at-santa-monica-high-school-john-muir-element/

7. See link to the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Most Recent List of Expenditures relating to the Toxic Substances Control Act Violation Lawsuit (TSCA):

Over $6,500,000 spent so far and still rising!

http://malibuunites.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Purchase-Orders-Approved-at-Board-Meetings2.pdf

Purchase-Orders-Approved-at-Board-Meetings2

8. DISTRICT ERROR CAUSES TEACHER WITH THYROID CANCER TO REMAIN IN TOXIC CLASSROOM

Defendant’s Calamity of Errors Validates Plaintiff’s PCB Lawsuit

For details, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-districts-error-causes-teacher-with-thyroid-cancer-to-remain-in-toxic-classroom/

See map:

incorrect-PE-rooms-remediated

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District appears to be more interested in attempting to limit their exposure to liability from a toxic tort complaint, rather than to just simply comply with the TSCA, and protect its students and teachers from this continuing harm.

9. WHISTLEBLOWER PARENT DISCLOSES DRUG AND ALCOHOL PROBLEMS ON MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL’S BASEBALL TEAM

For details, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/whistleblower-parent-discloses-drug-and-alcohol-problem-on-malibu-high-school-baseball-team/

10. See link to many other troubling issues with the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District:

SMMUSD  IRRESPONSIBILITY  ENDANGERS  OUR  CHILDREN

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District demonstrates a consistent pattern of evading responsibility for child safety. The SMMUSD has refused to answer questions about teachers who have sexually abused and sexually harassed children, failed to inform parents when their children have been victims of potentially criminal harassment, destroyed evidence concerning harassment of children, asked parents to destroy emails and not talk to each other about teacher sexual harassment of children, removed evidence of child abuse from its own records, impugned the testimony of its own employees who report child abuse, ordered teacher’s aides to not talk to parents, tried to intimidate students and parents, tried to mislead parents about their legal rights, publicly misrepresented its own legal obligations, and violated California state law.

http://chwe.net/safety/failures.html

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/smmusd-irresponsibility-endangers-our-children/

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Would Rather Charge Parents with Vandalism than to Remediate its PCB Contaminated Schools

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT for the CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA (Western Division – Los Angeles)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 2:15-cv-02124-PA-AJW

America Unites for Kids et al v. Sandra Lyon et al
Assigned to: Judge Percy Anderson
Referred to: Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Wistrich
Cause: 28:2201 Declaratory Judgment
Date Filed: 03/23/2015
Jury Demand: None
Nature of Suit: 893 Environmental Matters
Jurisdiction: Federal Question

In a bizarre twist, public school officials have filed a police report against a Malibu parent who allegedly took samples of window caulking from school buildings to test for toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), according to documents released by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) is also actively looking for teachers and other community members who may be involved, even as two elected board members have condemned the effort. (see attached emails from Board members Craig Foster and Oscar de la Torre)

See School Board Member emails here:

11_4_15_SMMUSD_board_members_protest

For two years Malibu Middle and High School and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School have been in an uproar as more than 30 Malibu teachers and alumni have come forward with serious health issues known to be related to PCB exposure.

CURRENT HEALTH ISSUES WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT MALIBU SCHOOLS

6 teachers with thyroid cancer;
4 alumni (28-year-old)with thyroid cancer;
1 current student with thyroid disease, possible thyroid cancer
25 teachers with thyroid disease (including 14 of 30 Malibu Middle School teachers);
10 alumni in their 20s with thyroid disease;
1 alumni (22-year-old) with environmentally induced melanoma;
2 current teachers with environmentally induced melanoma;
1 teacher hospitalized from an environmentally-induced rash;
1 current student with an environmentally-induced rash lasting several months
innumerable cases of headaches; persistent rashes; daily migraines; infertility issues; hair loss; immune issues; respiratory issues; and diabetes.

For more than a year, significant independent sampling has taken place on the campus complex, showing extremely high and illegal levels of PCBs remain even in areas supposedly remediated by the district and teachers continue to get sick from these exceedingly high levels of PCBs.

See video of several Malibu High School teachers pleading with the SMMUSD’s Board of Education:

 

The resulting certified lab results have been filed with EPA, state officials and the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office. U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) personally transmitted the most recent independent test results to EPA’s Gina McCarthy.

See Congressman Ted Lieu’s letter To America Unites For Kids regarding the October 2015 PCB Test Results to EPA’s Administrator Gina McCarthy:

10_29_15_Letter_from_Congressman_Lieu_to_America_Unites

See PCB test results here:

10_29_15_Malibu_lab_results

Please see map for more details to which rooms have illegal levels of PCBs.

db0d68ca-c4da-4f51-b4ba-43594c74f514

In March 2015, PEER and a parents group filed a federal lawsuit under the Toxic Substances Control Act against the SMMUSD Superintendent Sandra Lyon and Board for failing to remove illegal PCB-contaminated materials. The district and its retained counsel are fiercely resisting any further caulk testing at the schools.

District officials recently informed teachers and parents that it had filed a criminal vandalism complaint against a parent for taking caulk samples.

At the same time, the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District also did the following:

Threatened to seek prosecution of anyone who aids or even encourages the testing “no matter how seemingly insignificant that person’s role may be”;

Intimated obstruction of justice charges for refusal to cooperate with the investigation; and

Blocked teachers who wanted to move out of the most contaminated classrooms with proposed disciplinary action, even as two more cases of thyroid-related illness have been reported just in the past two days, including a former Malibu High teacher diagnosed with thyroid cancer who worked in classrooms with verified PCBs.

“It is utterly inappropriate to threaten parents for trying to make sure their children’s school is safe or teachers for protecting their own health,” stated PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein, noting the irony that the district’s latest heavy-handed measures came amidst a school anti-bullying campaign.

“The real criminal activity is maintaining a sick school and blocking a comprehensive cleanup.”

Two elected members of the SMMUSD have condemned the criminal complaint, as have several staff members, including the school librarian who decried the “administration’s hounding of staff members for statements and the threat of prosecution.” (See attached email from School Librarian Suzanne Moscoso)

See School Librarian’s email here:

11_4_15_Librarian response

The cost of fully remediating all three schools has been estimated below $1.5 million. But since PCB contamination on campus was first revealed to parents and teachers in October 2013, the district has spent close to $7 million on legal fees and environmental consultants in an effort to limit its liability and reassure parents that the campus – despite mounting evidence to the contrary – is “safe.”

“This perverse district has spent far more fighting a cleanup that what the cleanup would cost,” observed Dinerstein.

“What is occurring in Malibu is the epitome of educational malpractice.”

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Timeline:

See letter to Sandra Lyon and the SMMUSD’s Board of Education dated Oct. 7, 2013 from AMPS, Malibu High PTSA, The Shark Fund, The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, members of the Malibu High School Site Council, & Malibu Special Education Demanding that the SMMUSD take Steps to Keep Our Children and Teachers Safe:

525375b700692.pdf

In January 2014, SMMUSD staff raised concerns about PCB exposure in Malibu High School and Middle School (MHS) and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (JCS) after three teachers reported thyroid cancer diagnoses.

See letter to Sandra Lyon from 12 teachers at Malibu High School:

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/ca/1_13_14_teacher_letter.pdf

1_13_14_teacher_letter-2

The City of Malibu through Resolution No. 14-58 requests that the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) conduct further source testing for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at all Malibu school campuses and in all rooms. Every inch of caulking does not need to be tested to verify there are PCBs. It is reasonable and based on standard building practices is responsible to assume that all like caulking in the same building contains PCBs. 

See City of Malibu’s September 23, 2014 Resolution No. 14-58 below:

9_23_14_Malibu_City_Council_Resolution

Despite the October 2013, January 2014 letters and City of Malibu passing this Resolution, the SMMUSD refuses to relocate its students and teachers and administer any further testing, even turning down the offer of Malibu parent and supermodel Cindy Crawford to personally pay for the tests. The EPA, in the Oct, 31st, 2014 approval, made very clear that PCBs over 50ppm cannot be left in place. PCBs are not like lead paint and asbestos; they are not chemically the same nor are they handled by EPA the same way.

Instead of remediating, the SMMUSD has spent approx. $6,500,000 on lawyers and environmental and public relations consultants to “manage in place” the illegal contamination and try to convince the community that the School is safe.

The SMMUSD is now threatening to cut Art and other programs but is willing to spend $775,000 on attorneys (Pillsbury), and $3,225,000 on Consultants (Environ) who have been tasked with creating legal obstacles NOT to identify the sources of PCBs. See list of SMMUSD expenditures to date: $5,489,836.05 plus an additional $500,000 has been approved by the school board!

11200986_700561446719884_1823505260638714771_o

July 15, 2015
Aug 12, 2015
Purchase-Orders-Approved-at-Board-Meetings2

Also amazingly, the United States Environmental Protection Agency. (the “EPA”) appears to be letting the Defendants get away with this brazen violation of the law. Congress expressly provided for citizen’s suits to enforce TSCA where as here, the EPA is not enforcing the law.

Moreover, EPA guidance may have been compromised by the following actions.

The SMMUSD’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon sought the assistance of the California Association of School Administrators to lobby the EPA to not enforce PCB source testing and remediation in Malibu schools.

Thereafter, on August 1, 2014 Laura Preston, legislative advocate for the California Association of School Administrators, sent an email to Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Region 9 Administrator, in which she revealed that her organization had been working with Superintendent Sandra Lyon for several months on the PCB issue in Malibu schools. She expressed that her office had also met with the offices of all of our state and federal elected officials, including the California Governor’s office about this issue.

This email suggested that Blumenfeld’s actions could give the appearance of “preferential treatment “ to Malibu. Preston said that: “…any preferential treatment to the community of Malibu will give the appearance that an affluent largely white community will receive preferential treatment. This can easily become a civil rights issue for all of us.” (see email below)

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/california-association-of-school-administrators-email-to-epa.pdf

See America Unites for Kids October 29, 2015 letter to Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon concerning new PCB test results showing widespread PCB contamination at Malibu High School:
See New PCB Test Results from Malibu High School:

The EPA is Rolling Back PCB Safeguards and Has Significantly Raised the Toxic Exposure levels for Our Nation’s Children

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/the-epa-is-rolling-back-pcb-safeguards-and-has-significantly-raised-the-toxic-exposure-levels-for-our-nations-children/

See link to the comparison between the new EPA and old EPA guidance:

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/epa/8_20_15_Comparison_EPA_PCB_guidance.pdf

See attached pdf copy:

8_20_15_Comparison_EPA_PCB_guidance

See Link to News Article Concerning the EPA’s Stealth Rollback of School PCB Safeguards:

http://www.sonorannews.com/archives/2015/150826/news-EPA.html

See news articles concerning the SMMUSD Pressing Vandalism and Trespassing Charges Against the Parent who Proved that the Malibu Schools are Contaminated with Toxic Cancer Causing PCBs:

http://westsidetoday.com/2015/11/05/santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-want-sheriffs-to-investigate-parent-activists/#comment-123815

http://www.wnd.com/2015/11/mom-who-tested-classroom-for-carcinogens-to-be-charged/

http://fusion.net/story/227803/malibu-schools-pcb-thyroid-cancer/

http://laist.com/2015/11/05/malibu_pcb_case.php

http://patch.com/california/malibu/school-district-seeks-charges-against-malibu-mom-who-tested-classroom-materials-carcinogens

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District appears to be more interested in attempting to limit their exposure to liability from a toxic tort complaint, rather than to just simply comply with the TSCA, and protect its students and teachers from this continuing harm.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon should be fired for not adequately protecting the School District’s students and teachers.

For details, go to:

ITS TIME TO FIRE SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/it-is-time-to-fire-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-districts-superintendent-sandra-lyon/

THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS VIOLATED ITS OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE ITS TEACHERS AND STAFF WITH A SAFE WORKPLACE

Employers in Any Field Have a Responsibility to Provide a Reasonably Safe Workplace

This usually includes preventing unnecessary toxic exposure. When employers show negligence in their duty, the exposed worker may suffer lost wages, medical expenses, permanent disability or even an untimely death. Without action to uncover contributing causes to a worker’s injury, this suffering may be experienced by many workers. An attorney with experience in workers’ compensation cases may be able to aid in the investigation and pursue wrongful death or injury claims against the negligent employer.

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Timeline

See letter to Sandra Lyon and the SMMUSD’s Board of Education dated Oct. 7, 2013 from AMPS, Malibu High PTSA, The Shark Fund, The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, members of the Malibu High School Site Council, & Malibu Special Education Demanding that the SMMUSD take Steps to Keep Our Children and Teachers Safe:

525375b700692.pdf

Malibu Teachers to District: Test For More Toxins

A group of around 30 Malibu teachers has partnered with a Washington D.C. group to pressure the local school district to conduct full toxin assessments of Juan Cabrillo, Malibu High and Malibu Middle schools.

See Malibu Times News Article: http://www.malibutimes.com/news/article_26d782d4-5601-11e3-be02-0019bb2963f4.html

In January 2014, SMMUSD staff raised concerns about PCB exposure in Malibu High School and Middle School (MHS) and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (JCS) after three teachers reported thyroid cancer diagnoses.

See letter to Sandra Lyon from 12 teachers at Malibu High School:

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/ca/1_13_14_teacher_letter.pdf

1_13_14_teacher_letter-2

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Classroom Teachers Association Urges SMMUSD Officials to Consider the Well-being of its Children and Staff

Santa Monica Teacher’s Public Comment:

“Genevieve Szafran
I am a teacher at John Adams middle School. My classroom has been between 86 and 88 degrees every day since school started. I have not been provided with a fan and I’m using two of my own. It is unbearable . I have been suffering from heat exhaustion. My symptoms include nausea, dizziness and an inability to focus. My students are unable to concentrate. This is not a new issue. It is hot for at least 3 months out of every school year since I started working for SMMUSD 15 years ago. This is unacceptable.”

The City of Malibu through Resolution No. 14-58 requests that the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) conduct further source testing for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at all Malibu school campuses and in all rooms. Every inch of caulking does not need to be tested to verify there are PCBs. It is reasonable and based on standard building practices is responsible to assume that all like caulking in the same building contains PCBs. 

See City of Malibu’s September 23, 2014 Resolution No. 14-58 below:

9_23_14_Malibu_City_Council_Resolution

Despite the October 2013, January 2014 letters and City of Malibu passing this Resolution, the SMMUSD refuses to relocate its students and teachers and administer any further testing, even turning down the offer of Malibu parent and supermodel Cindy Crawford to personally pay for the tests. The EPA, in the Oct, 31st, 2014 approval, made very clear that PCBs over 50ppm cannot be left in place. PCBs are not like lead paint and asbestos; they are not chemically the same nor are they handled by EPA the same way.

PCB Contamination at Malibu Schools is Now Part of the Malibu Association of Realtors Newest Disclosure Requirements for Buyers of Malibu Real Estate

The latest version of the Malibu-Topanga Disclosure Addendum, which went into effect on September 2, 2015, is intended to let prospective buyers know about local issues. This disclosure reads:

MALIBU SCHOOLS: “Some Malibu Schools (Juan Cabrillo Elementary, Malibu Middle School, and Malibu High School) have been determined to contain Polychlorinated biphenyl (“PCB”), a known carcinogen, in caulking and other building materials. Environmental assessments are ongoing. Buyer is encouraged to investigate and determine whether he considers the use of said materials a potential health hazard prior to close of escrow.”

See Malibu/Topanga Disclosure form here:

MalibuTopangaDisclosureAddendum0915

(This form does not replace the Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory (CAR Form SBSA) and is intended only for the exclusive use of active members of the Malibu Association of REALTORS)

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District appears to be more interested in attempting to limit their exposure to liability from a toxic tort complaint, rather than to just simply comply with the TSCA, and protect its students and teachers from this continuing harm.

See America Unites for Kids October 29, 2015 letter to Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon concerning new PCB test results showing widespread PCB contamination at Malibu High School:
See New PCB Test Results from Malibu High School:

Superintendent Sandra Lyon told the board at the December 11, 2014 board meeting that the District has approval to spend $600+ per hour and the use of Pillsbury Law Firm as legal counsel, and now the SMMUSD Board has given her carte blanche permission to spend unlimited amounts of money to protect their decisions. See list of SMMUSD expenditures to date: $6,500,000 and rising!
11200986_700561446719884_1823505260638714771_o

July 15, 2015
Aug 12, 2015

http://malibuunites.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Purchase-Orders-Approved-at-Board-Meetings2.pdf

Instead of remediating all of the toxic PCBS from the affected campus’ of Juan Cabrillo Elementary, Malibu Middle and Malibu High schools, the SMMUSD has spent approx. $6.5 million dollars on lawyers and environmental expenditures rather than $100 per caulk test.

Just what is the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District spending so much money to hide from the public?

Perhaps this is the reason why the SMMUSD has Lawyered Up?

NOVEMBER 2015 UPDATE ON CURRENT HEALTH ISSUES WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT MALIBU SCHOOLS

  • 6 teachers with thyroid cancer;
  • 3 alumni  (28-year-old)with thyroid cancer;
  • 1 current student with thyroid disease, possible thyroid cancer
  • 25 teachers with thyroid disease (including 14 of 30 Malibu Middle School teachers);
  • 9 alumni in their 20s with thyroid disease;
  • 1 alumni (22-year-old) with environmentally induced melanoma;
  • 2 current teachers with environmentally induced melanoma;
  • 1 teacher hospitalized from an environmentally-induced rash;
  • 1 current student with an environmentally-induced rash lasting several months
  • innumerable cases of headaches; persistent rashes; daily migraines; infertility issues; hair loss; immune issues; respiratory issues; and diabetes.

There is a statistically significant “relationship” between spending your days at Malibu High School and Thyroid Cancer

For details, go to: https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/there-is-a-statistically-significant-relationship-between-spending-your-days-at-mhs-and-thyroid-cancer/

Please see map for more details to which rooms have illegal levels of PCBs.

db0d68ca-c4da-4f51-b4ba-43594c74f514

As a result of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s reckless conduct, America Unites for Kids and PEER has sued the SMMUSD for violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

America Unites for Kids & PEER vs. Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 2:15-cv-02124-PA-AJW

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District is Ordered to Stand Trial on May 17, 2016 for Failure to Protect Students & Teachers from Toxic Levels of PCBs

For details, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/america-unites-for-kids-peer-v-sandra-lyon-et-al-re-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-is-ordered-to-stand-trial-on-may-17-2016-for-failure-to-protect-students-teachers-fro/

See link to America Unites for Kids and PEER’s First Amended Complaint against the SMMUSD:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/document-52.pdf

The SMMUSD’s Adversarial Posturing is Costing the SMMUSD Millions of Dollars and Causing Unnecessary Harm to All of Their Students and Staff

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon should be fired for not adequately protecting the School District’s students and teachers.

For details, go to:

ITS TIME TO FIRE SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/it-is-time-to-fire-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-districts-superintendent-sandra-lyon/

Congressman Ted Lieu Sends EPA New PCB Test Results: Illegal PCB Contamination Still Widespread at Malibu High School

CONGRESSMAN TED LIEU LETTER TO EPA REGARDING SMMUSD’S PCB CONTAMINATION C

“I am sorry to hear of the difficulties that America Unites for Kids is experiencing. I am sure you will be glad to know that my office has shared your materials with Administrator Gina McCarthy at the EPA.” –Congressman Ted Lieu

See Congressman Ted Lieu’s letter to EPA’s Gina McCarthy:

51993633-e98a-483f-bfab-7dc564c1f0c6

When America Unites first approached Congressman Ted Lieu in 2014, he was a California State Senator. He did not represent Malibu but he instantly connected to struggle with the PCB issue every Malibu parent faced. He asked if PCBs could also be in his own kids school; we knew right then he understood the magnitude of the PCB problem. Today, as Malibu’s Congressional representative, Ted Lieu is standing up for Malibu children and teachers and is questioning EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy on why, two years later, illegal levels of PCBs still remain in the school.

New EPA certified lab results sent to the EPA demonstrate that PCB contamination at levels well beyond the limits of the Toxic Substances Control Act’s (TSCA) are still widespread throughout Malibu Middle and High School. Disturbingly, several high samples are from rooms the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has declared remediated. In fact, two windows, which were specifically claimed to have been remediated, were retested and both still contain illegal levels of PCBs.

The EPA has been presented 31 new locations containing PCBs at levels requiring removal under federal law. These tests show that all similar caulking in doors and windows thoughout a building are contaminated. The district can no longer justify only removing 1 window or 1 door and leaving the rest untested and not remediated, as they did this past summer.

Please see map for more details to which rooms have illegal PCBs.

db0d68ca-c4da-4f51-b4ba-43594c74f514

CURRENT HEALTH ISSUES WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT MALIBU SCHOOLS
  • 6 teachers with thyroid cancer;
  • 4 alumni  (28-year-old)with thyroid cancer;
  • 1 current student with thyroid disease, possible thyroid cancer
  • 25 teachers with thyroid disease (including 14 of 30 Malibu Middle School teachers);
  • 10 alumni in their 20s with thyroid disease;
  • 1 alumni (22-year-old) with environmentally induced melanoma;
  • 2 current teachers with environmentally induced melanoma;
  • 1 teacher hospitalized from an environmentally-induced rash;
  • 1 current student with an environmentally-induced rash lasting several months
  • innumerable cases of headaches; persistent rashes; daily migraines; infertility issues; hair loss; immune issues; respiratory issues; and diabetes.

See America Unites for Kids October 2, 2015 letter to Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon concerning new PCB test results showing widespread PCB contamination at Malibu High School:

See New PCB Test Results from Malibu High School:
PAST AND PRESENT SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT LITIGATION:
1. America Unites for Kids & PEER vs. Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 2:15-cv-02124-PA-AJW

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District is Ordered to Stand Trial on May 17, 2016 for Failure to Protect Students & Teachers from Toxic Levels of PCBs

For details, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/america-unites-for-kids-peer-v-sandra-lyon-et-al-re-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-is-ordered-to-stand-trial-on-may-17-2016-for-failure-to-protect-students-teachers-fro/

See link to America Unites for Kids and PEER’s First Amended Complaint against the SMMUSD:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/document-52.pdf

See link to the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Most Recent List of Expenditures relating to the Toxic Substances Control Act Violation Lawsuit (TSCA):

Over $6,500,000 spent so far and still rising!

http://malibuunites.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Purchase-Orders-Approved-at-Board-Meetings2.pdf

Purchase-Orders-Approved-at-Board-Meetings2

The person or persons responsible for the alleged violations are Sandra Lyon and Jan Maez, officials of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District; Oscar de la Torre, Joe Escarce, Maria Leon-Vazquez, Laurie Liebermann, Ralph Mechur, Nimish Patel, Craig Foster, and Richard Tavildaran-Jesswein, current members of the SMMUSD Board of Education.

2. Student & Parents vs. Wendy Wax Gellis & Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District:

This lawsuit alleges that the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis are criminally liable for violations of California Penal Code § 11166 and 11172(a) et seq. for filing a knowingly false child abuse report with child services and the police.

Santa Monica Dispatch Article Concerning Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Retaliatory Acts Against Students and Parents by Filing False Claims of Child Abuse with the Department of Children & Family Services.

See link to News Article here:http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2009/01/smmusd-vs-student/

The lawsuit alleges that an example of retaliatory action by the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis taken against this family includes knowingly and maliciously filing a false child rape and domestic violence allegation with the local law enforcement and with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in retaliation for parent’s exercise of their federally protected right to bring claims against the SMMUSD before the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

The family alleges that on December 18, 2013, SMMUSD employee named Wendy Wax Gellis made a knowingly false referral to the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and to local law enforcement that parent raped her own son. The allegations were determined by all investigating agencies to be unfounded.

For details of this pending Federal lawsuit go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/santa-monica-dispatch-article-concerning-smmusds-retaliatory-acts-against-students-and-parents-by-filing-false-claims-of-child-abuse-with-the-department-of-children-family-services/

3. DREW BALAGUER, REINA ROBERTS, and MARK BALAGUER v. SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT,

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

Case No.: 2:14-cv-06823-CBM-MRW

THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS CREATED A TWO-TRACK EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THAT EXCLUDES MANY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES FROM MATRICULATING INTO A FOUR YEAR COLLEGE PROGRAM

For details, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-has-created-a-two-track-educational-system-that-excludes-many-students-with-disabilities-from-completing-courses-offering-a-to-g-grading-thus-precludin/

See Complaint here: document-142

See Plaintiffs’ Motion To Compel Further Responses here: document-143

“Plaintiffs ask this court to issue an order (3) compelling (a) Dr. Woolverton to respond to questions raised about documents produced by the Defendant which she previously refused to (upon the advice of counsel) to answer of the grounds that such questions sought information protected by attorney-client privilege; and (b) Ms. Keleher to respond to similar questions which she also refused to answer upon the advice of counsel.

4. Student vs. Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District:

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 13-55665 & District Court No. 2:12-cv-03059-SVWPJW

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Did Not Act “Reasonably” When It Chose To Conduct An IEP Meeting Without the Parents’ Presence

For details of this other SMMUSD litigation, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/student-vs-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-re-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-did-not-act-reasonably-when-it-chose-to-conduct-an-iep-meeting-without-pa/

*Legal Fees in the amount of $215,000 were approved by the SMMUSD’s Board of Education on June 29, 2015.

See June 29, 2015 Board of Education Minutes: Re: Attorney’s Fee Settlement in the amount of $215,000

http://www.smmusd.org/brd1415/min062915_spmtg.pdf

5. Severe Bullying at Malibu High School and Superintendent Sandra Lyon’s Ratification of the Conduct:

http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2014/02/victim-becomes-villain-in-malibu-controversy/

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/severe-bullying-at-malibu-high-school-the-smmusds-ratification-of-the-conduct/

IMAG0391Student vs. Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) et al

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT COMPLAINT

SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

LIST THE FULL NAME AND JOB TITLE OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS AT SMMUSD (AND/OR MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL) RESPONSIBLE AMENDING/REVERSING CANCELING AND OR OTHERWISE MODIFYING THE DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION OF DEFENDANT SEBASTIAN SARTORIUS ISSUED IN OR AROUND NOVEMBER 2012.

RESPONSE TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

SANDRA LYON, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT.

6. SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT’S (SMMUSD) IRRESPONSIBILITY ENDANGERS OUR CHILDREN

See link: http://chwe.net/safety/failures.html

See pdf attachment:

SMMUSD IRRESPONSIBILITY ENDANGERS OUR CHILDREN

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District demonstrates a consistent pattern of evading responsibility for child safety. The SMMUSD has refused to answer questions about teachers who have sexually abused and sexually harassed children, failed to inform parents when their children have been victims of potentially criminal harassment, destroyed evidence concerning harassment of children, asked parents to destroy emails and not talk to each other about teacher sexual harassment of children, removed evidence of child abuse from its own records, impugned the testimony of its own employees who report child abuse, ordered teacher’s aides to not talk to parents, tried to intimidate students and parents, tried to mislead parents about their legal rights, publicly misrepresented its own legal obligations, and violated California state law.

1. In November 2011, the parents of four children accused Jennifer Becker, Juan Cabrillo Elementary special education teacher, of abusing their children. Four teacher’s aides witnessed these actions and the case is being investigated by the Los Angeles County Special Victims Bureau. SMMUSD administrators responded to only one of the many reported incidents and ignored the others. Sara Woolverton, SMMUSD special education director, told parents that the four teacher’s aides are not credible because they are committing a “mutiny.” http://chwe.net/safety/becker/

2. In May 2011, two Santa Monica HS students on the wrestling team locked an African American teammate to a locker, shouting “Slave for sale” and displaying a noose. They are currently being investigated on hate crime charges. Santa Monica HS administrators failed to inform the victim’s mother of the incident, tried to intimidate the victim by telling him that the wrestling program might be canceled, and destroyed cell phone pictures taken by other students of the noose. http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2011/06/smmusd-said-to-deny-civil-rights-of-students/

3. Ari Marken, Santa Monica HS teacher, sexually harassed a thirteen-­‐year-­‐old girl in December 2008. The SMMUSD has refused to release any information about Mr. Marken’s violation, in violation of California state law, and illegally delayed its response in order to allow Mr. Marken to try to stop or further delay the release of this information. http://chwe.net/safety/marken/

4. Thomas Beltran, former Lincoln MS teacher, was convicted in December 2008 of sexually molesting eleven Lincoln students over a period of more than ten years. However, a student complained about Mr. Beltran two years earlier, in March 2006. Even though this March 2006 complaint was serious enough to deserve a police investigation, the SMMUSD removed all records of this complaint and claimed complete ignorance after Mr. Beltran was arrested. The SMMUSD has refused to answer any questions about its handling of the March 2006 complaint. http://chwe.net/safety/beltran/

5. Carl Hammer, former Santa Monica HS band director, was convicted of a felony involving a fourteen-­‐year-­‐old girl in June 2005. After he was fired from his position in the SMMUSD, he continued to be paid by the Santa Monica HS band program to write musical arrangements for the band, using money from parent donations, with the full knowledge of SMMUSD administrators. No SMMUSD staff member has ever taken responsibility for re-­‐hiring Dr. Hammer after his conviction. http://chwe.net/safety/hammer/

6. Mike Hearn, former Santa Monica HS assistant coach, was convicted in October 2005 on nine sex-­‐related felony charges involving two 15-­‐year-­‐old Santa Monica HS students and another 17-­‐year-­‐old girl. http://chwe.net/safety/hearn/smdp100605a.pdf

On May 21, 2008, ten parents wrote a letter to SMMUSD Supt. Dianne Talarico asking 14 questions about the SMMUSD’s handling of the case of Lincoln MS teacher Thomas Beltran, who was later convicted of sexually molesting eleven Lincoln students over a period of more than ten years. On May 30, 2008, Supt. Talarico responded saying that “The active investigation status of this case prohibits the district from responding to many of your questions at this time.” We never received a further response. On September 2, 2010, long after the criminal case against Mr. Beltran was resolved, I wrote to Superintendent Tim Cuneo asking for the district to now answer our questions. Supt. Cuneo never responded. http://chwe.net/safety/beltran/chwe20080521.pdf

On December 7, 2010, over 150 SMMUSD parents wrote a letter to Supt. Tim Cuneo and Santa Monica HS principal Dr. Hugo Pedroza asking for information about Mr. Ari Marken, a Santa Monica HS teacher who was found by the SMMUSD to have sexually harassed a thirteen-year-old ninth grade girl in one of his geometry classes. Supt. Cuneo and Dr. Pedroza did not respond. (http://chwe.net/safety/marken/). The parents of the girl have never been given any information about the results of the SMMUSD investigation apart from this letter saying that Mr. Marken violated SMMUSD policy 5145.7. However on January 24, 2012, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Second Appellate District, ruled  that “Marken occupies a position of trust and responsibility as a classroom teacher, and the public has a legitimate interest in knowing whether and how the District enforces its sexual harassment policy. . . . the public’s interest in disclosure of this information—the public’s right to know—outweighs Marken’s privacy interest in shielding the information from disclosure.” See http://chwe.net/safety/marken/marken.pdf

The SMMUSD has destroyed evidence concerning harassment of children

Several Santa Monica HS students took cell phone pictures of the noose in the wrestling team practice room. These pictures were essential evidence, as the display of a noose to terrorize another person is a specific crime under California Penal Code section 11411. However, without reporting the matter to the police, Santa Monica HS administrators confiscated students’ phones and destroyed the pictures. http://chwe.net/safety/wrestling/smdp20110617.pdf

The SMMUSD has asked parents to destroy emails and not talk to each other about teacher sexual harassment of children

On August 31, 2010, SMMUSD Supt. Tim Cuneo sent a memo to parents asking them to destroy an email which Mr. Patrick DeCarolis, attorney for the 13-year-old girl sexually harassed by Mr. Marken, sent to parents on August 30, 2010, asking for help and information. This email was communication entirely between private citizens. Supt. Cuneo felt that he had the authority to write: “Please destroy all copies of the email and do not forward it or discuss the content of the email with others.” http://chwe.net/safety/marken/cuneo20100831.pdf

The SMMUSD removed evidence of child abuse from its own records

In March 2006, an eighth-grade Lincoln MS student made a written complaint about Thomas Beltran, two years before he was arrested for sexually molesting students. However, on May 8, 2008, after Mr. Beltran’s arrest, Asst. Supt. Mike Matthews said that “this is all new to us” and said that there were no complaints about Mr. Beltran in his personnel file. One might expect that a handwritten student letter about a possibly abusive teacher would be among the most sensitive and crucial of all records kept by a school district. On February 28, 2011, SMMUSD attorneys wrote that the district did not have a copy of the student’s letter. http://chwe.net/safety/beltran/aalrr20110228.pdf

The SMMUSD has impugned the testimony of its own employees who report child abuse

On October 22, 2011, teacher’s aides in the special education classroom at Cabrillo ES informed parents that the special education teacher Jennifer Becker was abusing their children. On October 28, 2011, the parents of four students met with SMMUSD director for special education Sara Woolverton. At this meeting, Dr. Woolverton stated that the four teacher’s aides were not credible and not trustworthy, and were committing a “mutiny” because Ms. Becker was making them work. http://chwe.net/safety/becker/

The SMMUSD has ordered teacher’s aides to not talk to parents

Melissa Winder, teacher’s aide in the Cabrillo ES special education class, states that Bekah Dannelly, SMMUSD special education coordinator, visited the special education classroom to order the teacher’s aides to not talk, text, or call the parents of the special education students.

The SMMUSD has tried to intimidate students and parents

After the hate crime incident involving two members of the wrestling team, Santa Monica HS H House principal Leslie Wells told the victim that “The incident could get the whole wrestling program canceled.” The victim did not tell his mother about the incident, reportedly because he did not want “to make a big deal out of it.”

On September 8, 2010, I wrote Supt. Cuneo asking specifically whether parents are legally obligated to destroy Mr. DeCarolis’s email. In his reply on September 9, 2010, Supt. Cuneo wrote: “The further dissemination of inaccurate information, which may include slanderous accusations, comes with it legal risk or liability. As such, the District response to the recipients about the information did not mince words in describing the seriousness of further dissemination.” Supt. Cuneo did not make any specific claim that anyone said anything slanderous. His response was nothing more than an attempt to intimidate.

The agreement between the SMMUSD and the Santa Monica Malibu Classroom Teachers Association states that if a student or parent wants to file a complaint against a teacher, the teacher can request a meeting. However, “if the complainant refuses to attend the meeting, the complaint shall neither be placed in the unit member’s personnel file nor utilized in any evaluation, assignment, or disciplinary or dismissal action against the unit member.” This policy is a license for intimidation. Very few children, or even adults, would be courageous enough to make a complaint against a teacher knowing that they would have to then meet the teacher face to face.

The SMMUSD has tried to mislead parents about their legal rights

After Supt. Tim Cuneo asked parents to destroy and not talk about an email sent to them by Mr. Patrick DeCarolis concerning Mr. Ari Marken’s sexual harassment of a 13-year-old girl. One must conclude that the SMMUSD is willing to intentionally mislead parents. Of course no parent is legally obligated to destroy any emails, regardless of implications for the district. The SMMUSD has no business telling parents what they can and cannot talk about. See Chwe email to SMMUSD Superintendent dated September 8, 2010. http://chwe.net/safety/marken/chwe20100908.pdf

The SMMUSD has publicly misrepresented its own legal obligations

After over 150 parents wrote a letter on December 7, 2010 to Supt. Tim Cuneo and Santa Monica HS principal Dr. Hugo Pedroza asking for information about the SMMUSD’s finding that Mr. Ari Marken had sexually harassed a 13-year-old girl, Supt. Cuneo stated in a newspaper interview that the SMMUSD could not legally disclose details about the case. However, in its court filings, the SMMUSD admits that they are legally required to release this information. http://chwe.net/safety/marken/aalrr20111029.pdf

The SMMUSD has violated California state law

Under California Penal Code 11165.7, school personnel are legally required to report suspected child abuse to police. In the case of the alleged abuses in the special education classroom at Cabrillo ES, no one reported Ms. Becker’s actions to the police until the parents, informed by the teacher’s aides, reported it themselves.

The SMMUSD delayed in order to allow Mr. Marken to try to obtain a court order to stop the release of the records, ignoring the California Supreme Court ruling in Filarsky v. Superior Court (2002) that “the exclusive procedure for litigating the issue of a public agency’s obligation to disclose records to a member of the public” is a lawsuit initiated by the person requesting the records. http://ag.ca.gov/publications/summary_public_records_act.pdf

By not releasing the records concerning Mr. Marken’s violation, the SMMUSD is in violation of long-standing case law, including AFSCME Employees v. Regents of University of California (1978), which establishes that records concerning the actions of public employees who have been disciplined must be disclosed to the public. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1592245.html

The agreement between the SMMUSD and the Santa Monica Malibu Classroom Teachers Association states that if a student or parent wants to file a complaint against a teacher, no record of the complaint will be kept unless the student or parent agrees to a meeting with the teacher. This violates the California Code of Regulations Title 5, Section 4621, which states that “local policies shall ensure that complainants are protected from retaliation and that the identity of a complainant alleging discrimination remain confidential as appropriate.”

http://chwe.net/safety/failures.html

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

Board of Education

SPECIAL EDUCATION SETTLEMENTS

NOVEMBER 2013-OCTOBER 2015

Pursuant to Government Code §54956.9(d)(2)

1. DN-1001-13/14 (Special Education)
The substance of settlement agreement in case No. DN-1001-13/14 was as follows:
a) Legal Costs: $16,000
The total cost for this case is not to exceed $16,000. It was moved by Mr. Mechur,
seconded by Mr. Patel, and voted 6/0 (Mr. de la Torre was absent) to approve the
settlement case.

2. DN-1002-13/14 (Special Education)
The substance of settlement agreement in case No. DN-1002-13/14
was as follows:
a) Legal Costs: $14,000
The total cost for this case is not to exceed $14,000. It was moved by Mr. Mechur,
seconded by Mr. Patel, and voted 6/0 (Mr. de la Torre was absent) to approve the
settlement case.

3. DN-1003-13/14 (Special Education)
The substance of settlement agreement in case No. DN-1003-13/14 was as follows:
a) Legal Costs: $6,500
The total cost for this case is not to exceed $6,500.
It was moved by Mr. Mechur, seconded by Mr. Patel, and voted 6/0 (Mr. de la Torre
was absent) to approve the settlement case.

4. DN-1004-13/14 (Special Education)
The substance of settlement agreement in case No. DN-1004-13/14 was as follows:
a) Parent Reimbursement: $38,000
The total cost for this case is not to exceed $38,000. It was moved by Dr. Escarce,
seconded by Mr. de la Torre, and voted 7/0 to approve the settlement case.

5. DN-1006-13/14 (Special Education)
The substance of settlement agreement in case No. DN-1006-13/14 was as follows:
a) Parent Reimbursement: $19,000
The total cost for this case is not to exceed $19,000. It was moved by Ms. Lieberman,
seconded by Mr. Allen, and voted 7/0 to approve the settlement case.

6. DN-1007-13/14 (Special Education)
The substance of settlement agreement in case No. DN-1007-13/14 was as follows:
a) Parent Reimbursement: $13,600
b) Legal Cost: $15,000
The total cost for this case is not to exceed $28,600. It was moved by Mr. Mechur,
seconded by Dr. Escarce, and voted 7/0 to approve the settlement case.

7. DN-1008-13/14 (Special Education)
The substance of settlement agreement in case No. DN-1008-13/14 was as follows:
a) Parent Reimbursement: $60,000
The total cost for this case is not to exceed $60,000. It was moved by Mr. Mechur,
seconded by Dr. Escarce, and voted 7/0 to approve the settlement case.

8. DN-1009-13/14 (Special Education)
The substance of settlement agreement in case No. DN-1009-13/14 was as follows:
a)Legal Cost: $5,500
b) Parent Reimbursement: $7,500
The amended total cost for this case is not to exceed $13,000. It was moved by Mr.
Mechur, seconded by Dr. Escarce, and voted 7/0 to approve the settlement case.

9. DN-1005-13/14 (Special Education)
The substance of settlement agreement in case No. DN-1005-13/14 was as follows:
a) LegalCost: $5,000
b)Parent Reimbursement: $17,789.48
The total cost for this case is not to exceed$ 22,789.48. It was moved by Dr. Escarce,
seconded by Ms. Lieberman, and voted 7/0 to approve the settlement case.

10. Student vs. SMMUSD, OAH Case No. 2013051152
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Eileen M. Cohn, determined on December 23, 2013 that the
SMMUSD must reimburse parents for all of their tuition costs for a Non-Public School (NPS)
along with reimbursement for all tutoring expenses.
These amounts exceed $56,970.99 in tuition reimbursement thus far, and does not include
approx. $70,000 inattorneys fees. This tuition will need to be reimbursed for 3-4 more years as well.

11. DN-1002-14/15 (Special Education)

Legal Fees: $70,000

The total cost for this case is not to exceed $70,000. It was moved by Ms. Lieberman, seconded by Mr. Patel, and voted 7/0 to approve the settlement case.

12. DN-1003-14/15 (Special Education)

Parent Reimbursement: $ 5,000/month (11/1/14 through 7/31/15)

The total cost for this case is not to exceed $45,000. It was moved by Ms. Lieberman, seconded by Dr. Tahvildaran-Jesswein, and voted 5/0 (Dr. Escarcewas absent) to approve the settlement case.

13. DN-1004-14/15 (Special Education)

Educational Evaluation Services: $11,485

Legal Fees: $TBD as per OAH Case No. 2014040578

It was moved by Ms. Lieberman, seconded by Dr. Tahvildaran-Jesswein, and voted 5/0 (Dr. Escarce was absent) to approve the settlement case.

14. DN-1005-14/15 (Special Education)

Parent Reimbursement: $2,200/month during school year (through 2019-2020 or whenever the student graduates from high school, whichever comes first) It was moved by Ms. Lieberman, seconded by Mr. Mechur, and voted 6/0 (Mr. de la Torre was absent) to approve the settlement case.

May 21, 2015

15. DN-1006-14/15 (Special Education)

Parent reimbursement (legal fees & other related costs): $9,000

The total cost for this case is not to exceed $9,000

It was moved by Mr. Mechur, seconded by Ms. Lieberman, and voted 6/0 (Ms. Leon-Vazquez was absent) to approve the settlement case.

16. DN-1007-14/15 (Special Education)

Parent Reimbursement (educational placement & services): $55,000

The total cost for this case is not to exceed $55,000. It was moved by Dr. Tahvildaran-Jesswein, seconded by Mr. Foster, and voted 6/0(Ms. Leon-Vazquez was absent) to approve the settlement case.

JUNE 29, 2015

17. STUDENT vs. SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Case No. 13-55665
District Court No. 2:12-cv-03059-SVWPJW

THE DISTRICT COURT HELD THAT THE SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT VIOLATED A STUDENT’S RIGHTS TO A FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION WHEN IT CONDUCTED AN IEP MEETING WITHOUT THE PARENTS’ PRESENCE

*Legal Fees in the amount of $215,000 were approved by the SMMUSD’s Board of Education on June 29, 2015.

See June 29, 2015 Board of Education Minutes: Re: Attorney’s Fee Settlement in the amount of $215,000

http://www.smmusd.org/brd1415/min062915_spmtg.pdf

DN-1009-14/15 (Special Education)
Legal fees & other related costs: $215,000
It was moved by Mr. Mechur, seconded by Ms. Lieberman, and voted 6/0 (Ms.Leon-Vazquez was absent) to approve the settlement case. Ayes: 6 (Lieberman, Escarce, de la Torre, Foster, Tahvildaran-Jesswein, Mechur)
September 2, 2015

18. DN-1001-15/16 (Special Education)

Attorney fees: $26,000
The total cost for this case is not to exceed $26,000. It was moved by Mr. De la Torre, seconded byMs. Leon-Vazquez, and voted 7/0 to approve the settlement case. Ayes: 7
October 1, 2015
19. DN-1002-15/16 (Special Education) TBD

20. DN-1003-15/16 (Special Education)

Legal fees $5,000
21. DN-1004-15/16 (Special Education)
Parent reimbursement: $6,000
22. DN-1005-15/16 (Special Education) TBD
Parent reimbursement: $6,000
October 15, 2015

23. DN-1006-15/16 (Special Education) TBD

24. DN-1007-15/16 (Special Education) TBD

See link to Malibu Times Article Entitled

“School Woes”

http://www.malibutimes.com/opinion/article_37232886-0af6-11e5-9805-c79129c3012e.html

See SMMUSD District Parent’s comment:

beachshopgirl posted at 12:07 pm on Mon, Jun 8, 2015.

The SMMUSD has an inordinate amount of due process cases (16 this school term). That would be the norm for a district five times this size. If they go that hard against the parents of children with disabilities that should tell everyone else something. The District will never stop fighting this lawsuit from all indications, regardless of the insane conclusion that is bound to occur. It’s pathetic that they are willing to burn down the village in an effort to avoid repairing it. It’s time for a new Board of Education, a new Superintendent and a new Director of Special Education Services. We need people in leadership that understand that tax dollars are not monopoly money and that this is not a private parts measuring contest.

Changes Continue for SMMUSD Special Ed

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:n6Ov6EJhbQoJ:smdp.com/continue-smmusd-special-ed/148784+&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

SMMUSD District Parent’s Comment about Special Education Director Dr. Sara Woolverton

Leaving the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District

Debra Shepherd ·

Finally! There have been complaints about Sara Woolverton from Santa Monica to Malibu for the last six years. Now, that the District is in trouble financially, they decide to replace her. No one in the administration or on the Board cared about the bigoted comments that she made about children with special needs or their parents. No one cared about all of the complaints about this woman from outside agencies and service providers. No one cared about the parents who came to me and the other members of the Special Education District Advisory Committee with complaints about the way that they had been treated by Woolverton. No one cared about the ridiculous amount of litigation involving the Special Education Department. No one cared about the staff who left the District because of Woolverton’s behavior. No one cared about the black parents who came to me with tears and broken spirits when Woolverton was the Director. They only cared when the budget was impacted. Shame on you SMMUSD for not caring about kids with special needs and their parents BUT good on you for giving walking papers to Sara Woolverton. It’s what she deserves. We’re having a party at my house!!! 20 June 2015 12:05

The SMMUSD’s Adversarial Posturing is Costing the SMMUSD Millions of Dollars and Causing Unnecessary Harm to All of These Families

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon should be fired for not adequately protecting the School District’s students and teachers.

For details, go to:

ITS TIME TO FIRE SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/it-is-time-to-fire-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-districts-superintendent-sandra-lyon/

Harvard School of Public Health Uses the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District as a Case Study for What NOT To Do When You Find PCBs in Schools

Harvard School of Public Health Uses the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District as a Case Study for What NOT To Do When You Find PCBs in Schools

See Harvard School of Public Heath articles entitled:

“PCBs in Schools- Still a Problem Legacy PCBs in Construction Materials Used in Schools”

HerrickslidesSept92014

“An Environmental Management Case Study: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Construction Materials”

polychlorinated_biphenyls_intro

“Tracking Down Toxins in Schools”

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/tracking-down-toxins-in-schools/

“Serum PCB levels and Congener Profiles Among Teachers in PCB-containing Schools: A Pilot Study”

Blood samples from 18 teachers in PCB-containing schools were analyzed for 57 PCB congeners. Serum PCB concentrations and congener patterns were compared between the teachers, to the 2003-4 NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data, and to data from 358 Greater Boston area men.

Results:

Teachers at one school had higher levels of lighter (PCB 6-74) congeners compared to teachers from other schools. PCB congener 47 contributed substantially to these elevated levels. Older teachers (ages 50-64) from all schools had higher total (sum of 33 congeners) serum PCB concentrations than age-comparable NHANES reference values.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that the teachers in the PCB-containing buildings had higher serum levels of lighter PCB congeners (PCB 6-74) than the referent populations. Examination of the patterns, as well as concentrations of individual PCB congeners in serum is essential to investigating the contributions from potential environmental sources of PCB exposure.
See case study here: 1476-069X-10-56

“Caulking Found to be Unrecognized Source of PCB Contamination in Schools and Other Buildings”

Caulking Found to be Unrecognized Source of PCB Contamination in Schools and Other Buildings – July 20, 2004 -2004 Releases – Press Release Archives – Press Releases – Harvard School of Public Health

See EPA Study entitled:

“Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in School Buildings: Sources, Environmental Levels, and Exposures”
Sources of PCBs in School Buildings
“PCBs-containing caulk is a primary source of PCBs in and around school buildings. PCBs from exterior caulks around windows and mechanical ventilation system air intakes can lead to elevated concentrations in indoor spaces. PCBs in exterior caulk are likely to enter the soil near school buildings with the highest soil PCB levels found in closest proximity to the building. Caulk containing PCBs was found to be mostly intact and still somewhat flexible, but visual examination alone may not be adequate for determining if PCBs are present and testing is needed to determine if caulk or other sealants in a building contain PCBs.” See report: pcb_EPA600R12051_final

The EPA is Rolling Back PCB Safeguards and Has Significantly Raised the Toxic Exposure levels for Our Nation’s Children

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/the-epa-is-rolling-back-pcb-safeguards-and-has-significantly-raised-the-toxic-exposure-levels-for-our-nations-children/

See attached pdf copy:

8_20_15_Comparison_EPA_PCB_guidance

See link to the comparison between the new EPA and old EPA guidance:

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/epa/8_20_15_Comparison_EPA_PCB_guidance.pdf

See link to News Article entitled:

Concerning the EPA’s Stealth Rollback of School PCB Safeguards:

http://www.sonorannews.com/archives/2015/150826/news-EPA.html

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Lays a Smack down on the EPA for Its Pesticide Inaction

For details, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/the-9th-circuit-court-of-appeals-issues-a-scathing-writ-of-mandamus-against-the-u-s-environmental-protection-agency-for-its-pesticide-inaction/

See also the Report on Improper Collusion Between Environmental Pressure Groups and the Environmental Protection Agency As Revealed by Freedom of Information Act Requests

This report examines lessons learned from documents produced pursuant to several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal, or EELI) — pieced together with others obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). It focuses on the relationship between the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and various special interest groups.

See Report here: EE-Legal-FOIA-Collusion-Report-9-15-2014

See the Office of the Bronx Borough President’s letter to the EPA concerning PCB contamination in New York City School buildings:

2009-06-22-EPA_Letter

PCBs Could Pose Risks for Property Buyers and Sellers, and Affect Values

http://nreionline.com/brokernews/greenbuildingnews/news/pcbs_could_pose_risks

See Harvard School of Public Heath October 23, 2015 Seminar entitled:

“The Crossroad of Advocacy, Politics, and Law Regarding Toxic PCBs in Schools”

RS-10-23-15-deNicola-Poster

See Malibu Surfside News Article dated October 27, 2015:

http://www.malibusurfsidenews.com/malibu-advocate-lectures-pcbs-seminar-harvard

Malibu resident and advocate Jennifer DeNicola lectured during a Harvard University seminar on Friday, Oct. 23, about occupational and environmental health research.

DeNicola specifically addressed attendees of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s event about the “crossroad of advocacy, politics and law regarding toxic PCBs in schools.”

For more than two years, DeNicola — founder and president of nonprofit advocacy group America Unites, formerly Malibu Unites — has been a leading voice in the charge to remove cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-containing caulk and building materials from Malibu High School and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School.

“The talk went very well and received high praise from the professors,” DeNicola wrote in an email to the Malibu Surfside News following her lecture. “The topic most asked about from the audience was why [the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District], whose job it is to protect kids, is not actively and aggressively identifying and removing PCBs, knowing the potential for serious harm based on the overwhelming data of its toxicity and the extreme levels of PCBs found.”

DeNicola told the Surfside News a few days before she left for Massachusetts that Harvard academics have been researching PCBs for more than a decade, and her purpose was to help bring information “from the West to the East” on the issue.

“We’re focused on bringing the West to the East, and this is more about the scientific community and the merging point for policy, law and health,” DeNicola said. “We all know it’s a problem, so the next step is the solution and what we’re all going to work on.”

DeNicola said, however, this wasn’t the first time East Coast academics had encountered Malibu’s PCB issue.

“What’s interesting is that one of the professors there claims that they use Malibu as a case study of what not to do when you find PCBs,” DeNicola said. “They’ve even used research and information from our school in a paper they just published.”

DeNicola said members of the audience seemed to find it difficult to understand that the SMMUSD has spent more money on investigating the issue than fixing it.  

“When PCBs are found in East Coast schools, they said they fully investigate and mitigate the nature and extent of PCB contamination as quickly as they can,” DeNicola said, “like what we have all asked for regarding the caulking at our school.”

http://www.malibusurfsidenews.com/malibu-advocate-lectures-pcbs-seminar-harvard

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Timeline

See letter to Sandra Lyon and the SMMUSD’s Board of Education dated Oct. 7, 2013 from AMPS, Malibu High PTSA, The Shark Fund, The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, members of the Malibu High School Site Council, & Malibu Special Education Demanding that the SMMUSD take Steps to Keep Our Children and Teachers Safe:

525375b700692.pdf

In January 2014, SMMUSD staff raised concerns about PCB exposure in Malibu High School and Middle School (MHS) and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (JCS) after three teachers reported thyroid cancer diagnoses.

See letter to Sandra Lyon from 12 teachers at Malibu High School:

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/ca/1_13_14_teacher_letter.pdf

1_13_14_teacher_letter-2

The City of Malibu through Resolution No. 14-58 requests that the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) conduct further source testing for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at all Malibu school campuses and in all rooms. Every inch of caulking does not need to be tested to verify there are PCBs. It is reasonable and based on standard building practices is responsible to assume that all like caulking in the same building contains PCBs. 

See City of Malibu’s September 23, 2014 Resolution No. 14-58 below:

9_23_14_Malibu_City_Council_Resolution

Despite the October 2013, January 2014 letters and City of Malibu passing this Resolution, the SMMUSD refuses to relocate its students and teachers and administer any further testing, even turning down the offer of Malibu parent and supermodel Cindy Crawford to personally pay for the tests. The EPA, in the Oct, 31st, 2014 approval, made very clear that PCBs over 50ppm cannot be left in place. PCBs are not like lead paint and asbestos; they are not chemically the same nor are they handled by EPA the same way.

The SMMUSD is misleading the public with false statements to try and justify their choice to keep exposing Malibu children to cancerous, toxic PCBs. 

On Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, the SMMUSD ordered a “special” cleaning of the classrooms prior to Environ testing the dust and air. They asked teachers to remove all items from all surfaces so they can send a “special” crew to remove dust from surfaces; the same surfaces that Environ will be wipe testing hours later.

This renders PCB results meaningless. The goal of wipe and air testing is to see what the students and staff have been exposed to for the past 4 months. However, if they clean it hours before testing then any evidence of PCB exposure is removed.  Click Here to see email

Special-Cleaning-12-16-2014

This was done to guarantee the results are below EPA guidelines. Sadly, these test results will be nothing more than a PR move by the district to reassure parents and waste taxpayer dollars.

Moreover, EPA guidance may have been compromised by the following actions.

The SMMUSD’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon sought the assistance of the California Association of School Administrators to lobby the EPA to not enforce PCB source testing and remediation in Malibu schools.

Thereafter, on August 1, 2014 Laura Preston, legislative advocate for the California Association of School Administrators, sent an email to Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Region 9 Administrator, in which she revealed that her organization had been working with Superintendent Sandra Lyon for several months on the PCB issue in Malibu schools. She expressed that her office had also met with the offices of all of our state and federal elected officials, including the California Governor’s office about this issue.

This email suggested that Blumenfeld’s actions could give the appearance of “preferential treatment “ to Malibu. Preston said that: “…any preferential treatment to the community of Malibu will give the appearance that an affluent largely white community will receive preferential treatment. This can easily become a civil rights issue for all of us.” (see email below)

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/california-association-of-school-administrators-email-to-epa.pdf\

The SMMUSD has spent approx. $6.5 million dollars on lawyers and environmental expenditures rather than $100 per caulk test. Superintendent Sandra Lyon told the board at the December 11, 2014 board meeting that the District has approval to spend $600+ per hour and the use of Pillsbury Law Firm as legal counsel, and now the SMMUSD Board has given her carte blanche permission to spend unlimited amounts of money to protect their decisions. See list of SMMUSD expenditures to date: $6,500,000 and rising!
11200986_700561446719884_1823505260638714771_o

July 15, 2015
Aug 12, 2015

http://malibuunites.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Purchase-Orders-Approved-at-Board-Meetings2.pdf

Just what is the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District spending so much money to hide from the public?

Other SMMUSD Litigation, and Errors in Judgment:

There are many other troubling issues with the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District.

  1. Superintendent Sandra Lyon ordered the use of Fumitoxins and Strychnine on Saturday, Aug 22, 2015 at Malibu High School, Juan Cabrillo and Webster Elementary schools despite hundreds of letters from parents in protest.

Her reckless actions put kids and wildlife at risk.

See link to America Unites For Kids Freedom of Information Act request dated Aug 22, 2015:

Freedom Of Info Act Dec 22-1

See link to Malibu Parent’s letter to Superintendent Sandra Lyon and Published in the Malibu Times on September 4, 2015:

Malibu Parent’s Letter: Protecting Children

http://www.malibutimes.com/opinion/article_fcd1df0e-51c4-11e5-b14c-f35d240585b1.html?mode=story

Malibu Parent Stacie Cox’ Public Comment about Superintendent Sandra Lyon:

An empathetic and confident leader would make all her decisions based on how to best protect children, and not make decisions based on legally what she can get away with. You seem to act on false information, archaic ideals, and without a conscience. Your behavior is unconscionable and you should be ashamed of yourself.”

2. The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Classroom Teachers Association Urges SMMUSD Officials to Consider the Well-being of its Children and Staff

Santa Monica Teacher’s Public Comment:

“Genevieve Szafran
I am a teacher at John Adams middle School. My classroom has been between 86 and 88 degrees every day since school started. I have not been provided with a fan and I’m using two of my own. It is unbearable . I have been suffering from heat exhaustion. My symptoms include nausea, dizziness and an inability to focus. My students are unable to concentrate. This is not a new issue. It is hot for at least 3 months out of every school year since I started working for SMMUSD 15 years ago. This is unacceptable.”

Dr. Henry Kirolos, a UCLA physician who specializes in preventive and primary care said that one of his patients is a John Adams Middle School teacher who reported that her students couldn’t focus in her hot classroom.

Kirolos added that it’s difficult to teach when students are loosening their shirt collars, fanning themselves and wiping sweat off their faces during instruction time.

He cited a scholarly article by Glen I. Earthman regarding the impact of school conditions on academic performance, which points to a study that determined optimal classroom temperatures to be between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

“If children are hot and sweaty inside the classroom, they’re not going to be able to concentrate,” Kirolos said. “It’s not conducive to learning.”

See link to Santa Monica Daily Press New Article dated September 16, 2015:
Concerns over classroom temps heat up

3. Student v Wendy Wax Gellis & Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District:

This lawsuit alleges that the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis are criminally liable for violations of California Penal Code § 11166 and 11172(a) et seq. for filing a knowingly false child abuse report with child services and the police.

Santa Monica Dispatch Article Concerning Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Retaliatory Acts Against Students and Parents by Filing False Claims of Child Abuse with the Department of Children & Family Services.

See link to News Article here: http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2009/01/smmusd-vs-student/

The lawsuit alleges that an example of retaliatory action by the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis taken against this family includes knowingly and maliciously filing a false child rape and domestic violence allegation with the local law enforcement and with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in retaliation for parent’s exercise of their federally protected right to bring claims against the SMMUSD before the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

The family alleges that on December 18, 2013, SMMUSD employee named Wendy Wax Gellis made a knowingly false referral to the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and to local law enforcement that parent raped her own son. The allegations were determined by all investigating agencies to be unfounded.

For details of this pending Federal lawsuit go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/santa-monica-dispatch-article-concerning-smmusds-retaliatory-acts-against-students-and-parents-by-filing-false-claims-of-child-abuse-with-the-department-of-children-family-services/

4. Student v SMMUSD:

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 13-55665 & District Court No. 2:12-cv-03059-SVWPJW

For details of this SMMUSD litigation, go to:

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Did Not Act “Reasonably” When It Chose To Conduct An IEP Meeting Without the Parents’ Presence

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/student-vs-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-re-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-did-not-act-reasonably-when-it-chose-to-conduct-an-iep-meeting-without-pa/

*Legal Fees in the amount of $215,000 were approved by the SMMUSD’s Board of Education on June 29, 2015.

See link to the June 29, 2015 Board of Education Minutes: Re: Attorney’s Fee Settlement in the amount of $215,000

http://www.smmusd.org/brd1415/min062915_spmtg.pdf

See Related case:

DREW BALAGUER, REINA ROBERTS, and MARK BALAGUER v. SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT,

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

Case No.: 2:14-cv-06823-CBM-MRW

THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS CREATED A TWO-TRACK EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THAT EXCLUDES MANY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES FROM MATRICULATING INTO A FOUR YEAR COLLEGE PROGRAM

For details, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-has-created-a-two-track-educational-system-that-excludes-many-students-with-disabilities-from-completing-courses-offering-a-to-g-grading-thus-precludin/

5. Other Superintendent Sandra Lyon’s Errors in Judgment:

“SANTA MONICA TEACHER WAS RIGHT, SUPERINTENDENT WAS VERY, VERY WRONG”

April 07, 2014|By Robin Abcarian (LA Times Reporter)

http://articles.latimes.com/2014/apr/07/local/la-me-ra-santa-monica-teacher-was-right-20140407

http://patch.com/california/santamonica/fire-sandra-lyons

https://www.change.org/p/sandra-lyon-and-smmusd-school-board-an-apology-from-superintendent-sandra-lyon-to-mark-black-for-throwing-him-and-all-teachers-under-the-bus-as-well-as-for-making-a-biased-inflammatory-response-to-mark-s-heroic-classroom-actions

6. Severe Bullying at Malibu High School and Superintendent Sandra Lyon’s Ratification of the Conduct:

http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2014/02/victim-becomes-villain-in-malibu-controversy/

For details of this pending litigation, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/severe-bullying-at-malibu-high-school-the-smmusds-ratification-of-the-conduct/

IMAG0391Student vs. Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) et al

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT COMPLAINT

SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

LIST THE FULL NAME AND JOB TITLE OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS AT SMMUSD (AND/OR MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL) RESPONSIBLE AMENDING/REVERSING CANCELING AND OR OTHERWISE MODIFYING THE DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION OF DEFENDANT SEBASTIAN SARTORIUS ISSUED IN OR AROUND NOVEMBER 2012.

RESPONSE TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

SANDRA LYON, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT.

7. PCBS REMOVED FROM SANTA MONICA SCHOOLS BUT LEFT IN MALIBU SCHOOLS

Superintendent Sandra Lyon cares more about protecting landfills than protecting children and teachers.

http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/pcbs-removed-from-santa-monica-schools-but-left-in-malibu.html

8. AMERICA UNITES FOR KIDS & PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY vs.

SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT for the CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA (Western Division – Los Angeles)

CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 2:15-cv-02124-PA-AJW

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District is Ordered to Stand Trial on May 17, 2016 for Failure to Protect Students & Teachers from Toxic Levels of PCBs

For details, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/america-unites-for-kids-peer-v-sandra-lyon-et-al-re-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-is-ordered-to-stand-trial-on-may-17-2016-for-failure-to-protect-students-teachers-fro/

See link to America Unites for Kids & PEER’s Complaint against the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District For Violations of The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/document-52.pdf

ON OCTOBER 24, 2015 AMERICA UNITES FOR KIDS RELEASED ADDITIONAL DISCOVERY CONCERNING SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON.

In 2013-14, Superintendent Sandra Lyon did not tell Malibu High School teachers and parents that their children were occupying classrooms that the previous teacher just reported having thyroid cancer as well as other previous teachers also having cancer.

These rooms then tested at 570,000 ppm of PCBs! The highest level ever found in the NATION!
This public records request proves that Sandra Lyon knew and was asked by the Juan Cabrillo principal when Lyon was going to tell teachers and parents about it (which was never!) Anyone thinking Child endangerment?
Click on picture to expand:

NOVEMBER 2015 UPDATE ON CURRENT HEALTH ISSUES WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT MALIBU SCHOOLS

  • 6 teachers with thyroid cancer;
  • 3 alumni  (28-year-old)with thyroid cancer;
  • 1 current student with thyroid disease, possible thyroid cancer
  • 25 teachers with thyroid disease (including 14 of 30 Malibu Middle School teachers);
  • 9 alumni in their 20s with thyroid disease;
  • 1 alumni (22-year-old) with environmentally induced melanoma;
  • 2 current teachers with environmentally induced melanoma;
  • 1 teacher hospitalized from an environmentally-induced rash;
  • 1 current student with an environmentally-induced rash lasting several months
  • innumerable cases of headaches; persistent rashes; daily migraines; infertility issues; hair loss; immune issues; respiratory issues; and diabetes.

There is a statistically significant “relationship” between spending your days at Malibu High School and Thyroid Cancer For details, go to: https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/there-is-a-statistically-significant-relationship-between-spending-your-days-at-mhs-and-thyroid-cancer/

PCBs Affect a Whole Building, Not Just a Single Window

If PCB-laden caulking over 50ppm has been found in one classroom, then it is probable that PCB-laden caulk is in all classrooms in that building. It would be absurd to propose removal of only the tested window (which is what the district has proposed) when adjacent windows used the same caulking that contain high levels of PCBs.

12029766_766201816822513_7554779534588348547_o

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District appears to be more interested in attempting to limit their exposure to liability from a toxic tort complaint, rather than to just simply comply with the TSCA, and protect its students and teachers from this continuing harm.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon should be fired for not adequately protecting the School District’s students and teachers.

For details, go to:

ITS TIME TO FIRE SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/it-is-time-to-fire-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-districts-superintendent-sandra-lyon/

THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT’S SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON FAILED TO INFORM STUDENTS AND TEACHERS THAT THEY WERE OCCUPYING PCB INFESTED CLASSROOMS

AMERICA UNITES FOR KIDS & PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

vs.

SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT for the CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA (Western Division – Los Angeles)

CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 2:15-cv-02124-PA-AJW

ON OCTOBER 24, 2015 AMERICA UNITES FOR KIDS RELEASED ADDITIONAL DISCOVERY CONCERNING SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON.

In 2013-14, Superintendent Sandra Lyon did not tell Malibu High School teachers and parents that their children were occupying classrooms that the previous teacher just reported having thyroid cancer as well as other previous teachers also having cancer.

These rooms then tested at 570,000 ppm of PCBs! The highest level ever found in the NATION!
This public records request proves that Sandra Lyon knew and was asked by the Juan Cabrillo principal when Lyon was going to tell teachers and parents about it (which was never!) Anyone thinking Child endangerment?
Click on picture to expand:

AUGUST 2015 UPDATE ON CURRENT HEALTH ISSUES WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS

5 teachers with thyroid cancer,
3 twenty-eight year old alumni with thyroid cancer,
18 teachers with thyroid disease, (14 of 30 middle school teachers, almost 50%, have reported thyroid disease.),
9 alumni in their 20’s with thyroid disease,
One 22-year-old with environmentally induced melanoma,
2 teachers with environmentally induced melanoma,
an uncountable amount of headaches, long lasting rashes, daily migraines, , infertility issues, hair loss, immune issues, respiratory issues, and diabetes.

There is a statistically significant “relationship” between spending your days at Malibu High School and Thyroid Cancer

For details, go to: https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/there-is-a-statistically-significant-relationship-between-spending-your-days-at-mhs-and-thyroid-cancer/

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District appears to be more interested in attempting to limit their exposure to liability from a toxic tort complaint, rather than to just simply comply with the TSCA, and protect its students and teachers from this continuing harm.

OTHER SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON ERRORS IN JUDGMENT

SMMUSD Timeline:

See letter to Sandra Lyon and the SMMUSD’s Board of Education dated Oct. 7, 2013 from AMPS, Malibu High PTSA, The Shark Fund, The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, members of the Malibu High School Site Council, & Malibu Special Education Demanding that the SMMUSD take Steps to Keep Our Children and Teachers Safe:

525375b700692.pdf

In January 2014, SMMUSD staff raised concerns about PCB exposure in Malibu High School and Middle School (MHS) and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (JCS) after three teachers reported thyroid cancer diagnoses.

See letter to Sandra Lyon from 12 teachers at Malibu High School:

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/ca/1_13_14_teacher_letter.pdf

1_13_14_teacher_letter-2

The SMMUSD is misleading the public with false statements to try and justify their choice to keep exposing Malibu children to cancerous, toxic PCBs. 

On Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, the SMMUSD ordered a “special” cleaning of the classrooms prior to Environ testing the dust and air. They asked teachers to remove all items from all surfaces so they can send a “special” crew to remove dust from surfaces; the same surfaces that Environ will be wipe testing hours later.

This renders PCB results meaningless. The goal of wipe and air testing is to see what the students and staff have been exposed to for the past 4 months. However, if they clean it hours before testing then any evidence of PCB exposure is removed.  Click Here to see email

Special-Cleaning-12-16-2014

This was done to guarantee the results are below EPA guidelines. Sadly, these test results will be nothing more than a PR move by the district to reassure parents and waste taxpayer dollars.

Moreover, EPA guidance may have been compromised by the following actions.

The SMMUSD’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon sought the assistance of the California Association of School Administrators to lobby the EPA to not enforce PCB source testing and remediation in Malibu schools.

Thereafter, on August 1, 2014 Laura Preston, legislative advocate for the California Association of School Administrators, sent an email to Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Region 9 Administrator, in which she revealed that her organization had been working with Superintendent Sandra Lyon for several months on the PCB issue in Malibu schools. She expressed that her office had also met with the offices of all of our state and federal elected officials, including the California Governor’s office about this issue.

This email suggested that Blumenfeld’s actions could give the appearance of “preferential treatment “ to Malibu. Preston said that: “…any preferential treatment to the community of Malibu will give the appearance that an affluent largely white community will receive preferential treatment. This can easily become a civil rights issue for all of us.” (see email below)

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/california-association-of-school-administrators-email-to-epa.pdf\

The SMMUSD has spent approx. $6.5 million dollars on lawyers and environmental expenditures rather than $100 per caulk test. Superintendent Sandra Lyon told the board at the December 11, 2014 board meeting that the District has approval to spend $600+ per hour and the use of Pillsbury Law Firm as legal counsel, and now the SMMUSD Board has given her carte blanche permission to spend unlimited amounts of money to protect their decisions.See list of SMMUSD expenditures to date: $5,489,836.05 and rising!
11200986_700561446719884_1823505260638714771_o

July 15, 2015
Aug 12, 2015

http://malibuunites.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Purchase-Orders-Approved-at-Board-Meetings2.pdf

Just what is the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District spending so much money to hide from the public?

See link to Malibu Parent’s letter to Superintendent Sandra Lyon and Published in the Malibu Times on September 4, 2015:

Malibu Parent’s Letter: Protecting Children

http://www.malibutimes.com/opinion/article_fcd1df0e-51c4-11e5-b14c-f35d240585b1.html?mode=story

Malibu Parent Stacie Cox’ Public Comment about Superintendent Sandra Lyon:

An empathetic and confident leader would make all her decisions based on how to best protect children, and not make decisions based on legally what she can get away with. You seem to act on false information, archaic ideals, and without a conscience. Your behavior is unconscionable and you should be ashamed of yourself.”

“SANTA MONICA TEACHER WAS RIGHT, SUPERINTENDENT WAS VERY, VERY WRONG”

April 07, 2014|By Robin Abcarian (LA Times Reporter)

http://articles.latimes.com/2014/apr/07/local/la-me-ra-santa-monica-teacher-was-right-20140407

http://patch.com/california/santamonica/fire-sandra-lyons

https://www.change.org/p/sandra-lyon-and-smmusd-school-board-an-apology-from-superintendent-sandra-lyon-to-mark-black-for-throwing-him-and-all-teachers-under-the-bus-as-well-as-for-making-a-biased-inflammatory-response-to-mark-s-heroic-classroom-actions

Severe Bullying at Malibu High School and Superintendent Sandra Lyon’s Ratification of the Conduct:

http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2014/02/victim-becomes-villain-in-malibu-controversy/

For details of this pending litigation, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/severe-bullying-at-malibu-high-school-the-smmusds-ratification-of-the-conduct/

IMAG0391Student vs. Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) et al

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT COMPLAINT

SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

LIST THE FULL NAME AND JOB TITLE OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS AT SMMUSD (AND/OR MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL) RESPONSIBLE AMENDING/REVERSING CANCELING AND OR OTHERWISE MODIFYING THE DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION OF DEFENDANT SEBASTIAN SARTORIUS ISSUED IN OR AROUND NOVEMBER 2012.

RESPONSE TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

SANDRA LYON, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon should be fired for not adequately protecting the School District’s students and teachers.

For details, go to:

ITS TIME TO FIRE SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/it-is-time-to-fire-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-districts-superintendent-sandra-lyon/

THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THE JOINT POWERS AUTHORITY LIKES TO TAKE THE GLOVES OFF AND FIGHT PARENTS AND STUDENTS IN COURT WITHOUT REGARD TO THE MERITS OF THE CASE

According to this article, the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) will authorize or require a school district to fight a case in Court without regard to the merits of the case and do so to dissuade other Plaintiffs from bringing claims!