Written by Jeff Epstein, editor of Citizens’ Media TV
Citizens’ Media TV is currently writing a substantial article on the mishandling of asbestos at Pinelands Regional High School. The article is being written in consultation with high school parents Dane Apgar and Todd Nugent. Apgar has decades of experience in construction management and a degree in business law. Nugent is the president of Synatech Inc., an environmental remediation firm specializing in asbestos, lead, and mold abatement. Nugent is consulting Citizens’ Media TV in his official capacity, not as an individual or parent.
To make this upcoming article as solid and irrefutable as possible, we need the assistance of the public. This includes parents, district staff, and even nearby property owners.
According to Epic Environmental in their September findings, the roof over the close-left corner of the D-wing (when looking at the school from Nugentown Road – the orange section on the diagram) was the primary location of asbestos containing material (ACM) found at the high school. As stated on the diagram, this section is nearly 7,000 square feet. As we understand it, the daycare playground (where asbestos was definitely found) is located approximately under the large “GA” letters near the top-right corner in the diagram.
Specifically, we are looking for on-the-record statements – your name will be printed in the article! We are especially looking for video and photographic evidence that demonstrate asbestos mishandling in this particular section of the building, both on the roof and in the classrooms beneath it. Example violations include:
- Debris was not wet or bagged
- Debris was not put down closed chutes
- Debris was not put into on lined dumpsters
- Debris was found outside of the dumpsters
- Dumpsters were taken away without being covered
- Workers were not properly protected, such as with gloves, suits, masks, and respirators
- Debris or dust was detected outside of district property, such as on the neighboring street, Beloff Drive.
Dates and locations of your photographs and videos are critical. Any additional details are of course helpful.
The district’s “gag-rule,” and how to submit your information
We have received reports that the district has told teachers and staff that they are not allowed to talk to the press, or to post things on social media. We asked Mel Reid, the president of the teachers’ union, called the Pinelands Education Association, about this “gag-rule.” He provided this statement:
Teachers and staff are very strongly cautioned against providing false or hearsay information to anyone in the press or on social media. To be clear, however, there is nothing legally binding that prevents a staff member from publicly sharing information that is 100% truthful and backed up by evidence.
Of course, just because the district has no legal basis for this gag-rule, does not mean that staff members will not be retaliated against in some way. That also needs to be considered. If any staff members are willing to talk, even off-the-record, please get in touch. We will honor all requests and do whatever is necessary to make you comfortable and safe.
You can submit your information in whatever way is most convenient:
- As a comment on the Facebook post (where this article is shared)
- By private messaging Citizens’ Media TV on Facebook
- By emailing email@example.com
- Confidential documents can be securely and anonymously submitted to Jersey Leaks
- Statements and information only (no documents, photos, or videos) may be submitted by filling out this Google Form
After the article is properly vetted, anyone who contributes information for this article, and if desired, will be given a preview of the final version the day before its released to the public.