Friday, November 5, 2010
The ChildSafe School Part I
It's hard to remember exactly how it got started. Like any parents, we were concerned about the health and safety of our kids, and how they were being affected by chemicals in the environment. At home we ate organic food, maintained our lawn without pesticides, avoided things like fabric softeners and chemical air fresheners, and used natural cleaning products. But once our kids got to school, we knew someone else was making decisions that affected their environment. What did they know?
Not much, as it turned out. Our first brush with toxins at school was with the friendly groundskeeper at the elementary school where Patti and a few parents had started a school garden. One day he casually volunteered to spray the perimeter of the garden with pesticides to kill the weeds. A few minutes later Patti was in the Principal's office discussing why pesticides were being used at our kids' school. That night around the dining room table she wrote the first ChildSafe school policy prohibiting pesticides on fields and grounds. Today it's the law in New York State!