HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Three elementary schools in Huntington Beach have been shut down due to concerns of asbestos, leaving hundreds of parents to figure out where their children will be going to class in the weeks ahead.
While the Ocean View School District has made arrangements for a substitute campus for Lake View Elementary, the other two, Oak View Elementary and Hope View Elementary, remain pending.READ MORE: California Ranked Most Fun State In The Nation
Lake View Elementary will reportedly remain closed indefinitely, as the other two will remain closed through the week of Oct. 17.
About 1,600 students are expected to be without classrooms Monday as asbestos cleanup continues.
“I mean, I think most of us parents are scrambling right now,” one parent described.
Other parents said the school district did not follow through with what they had told parents.
“All eleven schools should have been closed from the very beginning,” another mother said. “They said that, and then they waited until midnight when the media and the parents left.”
The district, meanwhile, states that it has a responsibility to look after the health of its students while at school, in addition to their education.READ MORE: 7 SoCal Residents Win $1.5M Prizes In CA's Vaccine Incentive Program
“Most classrooms and offices in our schools have been testing well below the acceptable federal and state thresholds for the presence of asbestos,” Ocean View School District’s Gustavo Balderas said. “We have promised to test and retest districtwide to ensure hazardous materials do not pose a risk to those in our facilities.”
While school officials cannot say when the students will be able to return to the classroom, the children from Lakeview Elementary will be sent to two different schools, and will begin school again Wednesday.
Kindergarten through first grade will report to Harbor View Elementary, while second through fifth grades will attend Westmont Elementary.
Meanwhile, at Hope View Elementary, where a major cleanup continues, a wipe test detected an asbestos fiber in a classroom.
Parents hoped to listen in for updates at a news conference Friday afternoon but were asked to leave a conference room. They say their frustration matches their concern at this point.
“I think all parents want to know that it’s been retested, that it’s a safe environment for these kids to be back in, and to do the right thing for them, which I think as a community that they have not showed us that,” parent Marcie Nim said.MORE NEWS: Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Gives Millions To Southern California's State Universities, Community Colleges
District officials report that all transfer requests are being granted, and that classrooms are still being sought for displaced students.