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When Should I Give Up?

 
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Teresa Van Deusen



Joined: 17 Aug 2002
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 6:00 am    Post subject: When Should I Give Up? Reply with quote

Taking a poll.
Our local school district has millions of dollars in health and safety bond money. Unfortunately, they underestimated (VASTLY) the repairs needed on campuses and appear to be entirely unwilling at this point to add anything to the list. These necessary additions include replacing HVAC systems FULL of aspergillus, abating major rat infestations, replacing roofs with 34 chronic leaks, replacing portables full of chaetomium, and so on , and so on. Everyone is saying they have their hands tied, but it looks like an administrative excuse to me.
I am in touch with sick teachers whose jobs have been threatened because they were vocal, parents whose kids were fine over the summer and now using their inhalers everyday and getting CAT scans for migranes. They are breaking my heart since all this is falling on intentionally deaf ears within the district. Austin ISD has tried everything to discredit my opinion and it has gotten rather nasty. I am using their own testing data to prove my points and they hate it.
Pretty sure I cannot sue them and the local press is reluctant to listen after AISD finished dragging my name through the mud with them. I am at my wit's end and turning to this forum for advice.
Should I walk away?
I have a lot of trouble knowing when to give up.
This is taking a lot of time and energy and I have been unemployed for over a year. Other parents are somewhat vocal, but I am one of three that know this stuff inside and out. It doesn't seem to matter how many facts you present.
What do you think?
T
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DK



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 7:34 pm    Post subject: Teresa........ Reply with quote

I don't like preachy behavior, am turned off by it completely.

That said.....my only suggestion is application of intense prayer. Prayer is the most powerful source of assistance we have in this reality to deal with material problems in my humble opinion.

Email me-- I have a gift for you.

DK
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Dorie



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
Posts: 58
Location: FLORIDA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 8:01 pm    Post subject: Re: When Should I Give Up? Reply with quote

Teresa Van Deusen wrote:
Taking a poll.
Our local school district has millions of dollars in health and safety bond money. Unfortunately, they underestimated (VASTLY) the repairs needed on campuses and appear to be entirely unwilling at this point to add anything to the list. These necessary additions include replacing HVAC systems FULL of aspergillus, abating major rat infestations, replacing roofs with 34 chronic leaks, replacing portables full of chaetomium, and so on , and so on. Everyone is saying they have their hands tied, but it looks like an administrative excuse to me.
I am in touch with sick teachers whose jobs have been threatened because they were vocal, parents whose kids were fine over the summer and now using their inhalers everyday and getting CAT scans for migranes. They are breaking my heart since all this is falling on intentionally deaf ears within the district. Austin ISD has tried everything to discredit my opinion and it has gotten rather nasty. I am using their own testing data to prove my points and they hate it.
Pretty sure I cannot sue them and the local press is reluctant to listen after AISD finished dragging my name through the mud with them. I am at my wit's end and turning to this forum for advice.
Should I walk away?
I have a lot of trouble knowing when to give up.
This is taking a lot of time and energy and I have been unemployed for over a year. Other parents are somewhat vocal, but I am one of three that know this stuff inside and out. It doesn't seem to matter how many facts you present.
What do you think?
T


IN ONE RESPECT I AGREE W/DK. I DON'T LIKE PUSHY PEOPLE EITHER. HOWEVER, IF WE DIDN'T HAVE THOSE WHO TAKE A STAND, FIGHT FOR WHAT'S RIGHT, HOW WOULD ANYTHING EVER GET CHANGED?

TERESA, IF YOU QUIT...WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?

DO YOU HAVE ANY SUPPORT/COMMITTEE FROM THE CITIZENS OR PARENTS OR TEACHERS WHO ARE BEING AFFECTED AND WILLING TO HELP YOU? SOMETIMES NUMBERS HELP...AND AS WE ALL KNOW ONE IS A LONELY NUMBER.

WHAT ABOUT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ABOVE THE LOCAL LEVEL? ARE THERE ANY THAT CAN BACK YOU ON THIS?

AS FAR AS TAKING A POLL, TERESA YOU HAVE OUR SUPPORT IN WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO DO. I GUESS WHAT I AM SAYING IS, "IT AIN'T OVER UNTIL YOU SAY IT'S OVER".

GOOD LUCK AND GOOD HEALTH.

DORIE
_________________
MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS DORIE01@BELLSOUTH.NET. HOWEVER, I AM STAYING WITH A FRIEND AND THEIR EMAIL IS THUMPY1028@AOL.COM...THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP!
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DK



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 10:04 pm    Post subject: oh....not what I meant Reply with quote

Guys,

when I said I don't like 'preachy' people, I was meaning that I don't want to sound 'preachy' in giving you advice to pray..... I try always to be careful about slinging around my own fairly unique religious beliefs.

I LOVE PUSHY, DOMINANT< FIGHT TO THE DEATH people. I am one of those!!

I agree w/ Dorie-- it ain't over till you say it's over.

We had to say "it's over" recently in a four year battle we could not win.

DK
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Dorie



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
Posts: 58
Location: FLORIDA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 11:57 pm    Post subject: Re: oh....not what I meant Reply with quote

DK wrote:
Guys,

when I said I don't like 'preachy' people, I was meaning that I don't want to sound 'preachy' in giving you advice to pray..... I try always to be careful about slinging around my own fairly unique religious beliefs.

I LOVE PUSHY, DOMINANT< FIGHT TO THE DEATH people. I am one of those!!

I agree w/ Dorie-- it ain't over till you say it's over.

We had to say "it's over" recently in a four year battle we could not win.

DK


DK, SORRY...MY EYESIGHT IS SO BAD AND, SO ARE THE BRAIN CELLS!! I THOUGHT YOU SAID PUSHY NOT PREACHY! HA HA .. JUST OVERLOOK ME SOMETIMES I HAVE "THOSE CRS MOMENTS".

AGREE WITH THE PREACHY TOO.

I AM SORRY YOU LOST THE BATTLE. I KNOW THAT WAS SO DISAPPOINTING AFTER FIGHTING FOR 4 YEARS. BUT A BATTLE WELL FOUGHT AND LOST IS BETTER THAN NOT TRYING AT ALL.

I HAVE NEVER BEEN A FIGHTER. ALWAYS A RUNNER (RUN FROM CONFLICTS). HOWEVER, MY HEALTH AND HOME ARE AT STAKE, AND I'LL LET MY ATTY FIGHT FOR ME! SINCE I AM SUCH A "CHICKEN"!

TTFN
DORIE
_________________
MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS DORIE01@BELLSOUTH.NET. HOWEVER, I AM STAYING WITH A FRIEND AND THEIR EMAIL IS THUMPY1028@AOL.COM...THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP!
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Teresa Van Deusen



Joined: 17 Aug 2002
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2002 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ladies!
I am known for being outspoken about the safety and well being of teachers and kids (and cats and dogs and rivers and the air etc), even long before this issue. During my illness I lost a lot of community relationships primarily because I was so forgetful and agitated or crying or shaking or losing conciousness. Learned who my truest friends are that's for sure. It has been frustrating rebuilding community momentum on an issue so few understand.
As an example: My youngest kept gettnig ill on Mondays at school. I started to notice when we finally left our home. After two months of this and wondering if it was stress, etc, I finally took a swab sample off her desk. Found multiple species of mold including a lot of stachybotrys. The district came in to test, wiped down the desk w/ bleach, and came up with 97 stachy colonies. Since the desk is laminated , we agreed it could not be the source of the mold. They wanted to test again to be sure, but someone removed the desk from the room so they "could not test further". To date (since January 2001) the source of mold has not been identified or remediated and 24 students attend classes in there regularly. FYI: the teacher was diagnosed with chronic fatigue in January 2002 and six of my daughter's former classmates now carry inhalers (two with SEVERE asthma, but only during the school year). The parents were told that "no significant mold was found" and they were happy to accept that and put the matter to rest. Their pediatricians told them that asthma etc was not mold related. Similar situations have been presented to me since then from over a dozen local campuses.

I am a fighter. I have involved the alternative newspaper since the "big" Cox affiliate can't get their lips off the superintendant's mold long enough to listen to the facts. No local news will cover it, but I am still sending them pictures and they persist in covering my personal story (though I have not asked for that). The city and state health dept have no authority to enforce non-existant laws, nor an apparant desire to. The CDC, NIH, Governor's office, my congressmen, and state legislators, the PTA, and the teacher's union will not lift a finger. The school district is exempt from any prosecution for gross negligence, so lawyers are a moot issue. Short of dressing up like a spore and dancing around I am frustrated with the slow coalition forming and the apathy on the part of the district.
I think I have them on the vermin issue. My other daughter's moldy high school has rats (ew!). So far, they are denying etc, but the pics I have speak for themselves. We are thnking of painting whiskers on our faces when we present this to the school board. I welcome any other suggestions........

I take the comments about praying as someone wishing I had peace in my heart and guidance from the universe. I will never meet most people's standards of conventional prayer and the family will probably never ask me to bless the Thanksgiving meal again, but hey, that's ok with me. (I blessed the turkey first, then the yams). I have never met a prayer that did me harm. What I am trying to say is that suggesting prayer is ok in my book. Just don't tell me to whom or how and I won't take offense. It seems to be the rule of thumb in this discussion.

Take Care,
Teresa
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Moldergeist



Joined: 03 Nov 2002
Posts: 17
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2002 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tvd,

Feel very sad to hear this story. There seems to be no end to the heartbreak this stuff is causing people across the country.

Think this is one where you ask for advice & in the end you just have to trust your instincts to decide what is right. Clearly you have excellent instincts or you would not have survived from this stuff.

Sometimes you have to take a break & re-engage when the timing is better (i.e., not fighting uphill all the time). Any chance of getting support from the POA group on this? Seems like they have been rather quiet recently. Wish you the best of luck (sounds like you as well as the rest of us are long overdue) whichever path you chose.
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dana gatlin



Joined: 26 Jul 2002
Posts: 57
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2002 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teresa,

Indeed you have wonderful instincts... why not use them to the max? ..."dressing up like a spore and dancing around ..." now THAT should get their attention! Perhaps you could incorporate prayer and blessing of turkeys! (Sorry, that just tickled my funny bone so bad I can't stop giggling.) OK, back to reality... I say DON'T give up. There must be something, someone, you haven't thought of yet. What about alumni who now wield great power? Have you been in touch with key people in the numerous school districts that HAVE been remediating to find out what it took to push it through? I see so many reports of schools biting the bullet on the SB Mold Help. Surely they don't just say "Oh, it's mold -- hey, let's remediate!"
Pardon me if I'm suggesting the obvious -- I suspect you've already approached this from every possible angle. Maybe the strength in numbers thing is what it will take. Let us know if letters would help. Or anything. I hope you don't give up, but if you feel you need to, I certainly understand.
Keep up the good work, T, and for God's sake, BLESS THE TURKEYS!!!! (And they're ALL turkeys, aren't they?)
Dana
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May the Truth prevail!
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trixie



Joined: 08 Nov 2002
Posts: 11
Location: Northern New Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2002 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never give up. Strong as steel. Steady as stone.
_________________
"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
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Teresa Van Deusen



Joined: 17 Aug 2002
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2002 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am printing up your responses and taping them on my mirror so I can look at them when I put on makeup and pantyhose for the school board meetings. Thanks!
Teresa
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Teresa Van Deusen



Joined: 17 Aug 2002
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2002 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruth,
It is overwhelming to hear all the stories from teachers and staff. To date 42 fungal related diseases directly linked to specific classrooms have been denied any workman's comp in out district. You would think if chaetomium is growing rampantly in a portable, and is then found growing in the teacher's lung after she worked in thatenvironment and complained aboout the moldy odor for none years....
A group of us are pushing for the district to adopt the EPA Tools For Schools protocol. This would include documenting medical issues like asthma. So far, the board of trustees has balked. I think they view it as potentially expensive, etc.
As far as I am concerned , teachers are the sentinal species in this biosphere we call "school". I was shocked to find out that no one in this country is tracking teacher health issues. If I can pull myself together I would like to set up an online survey for educators and school staff relating to poor indoor air quality and health. It may not be a prestigious, medically accepted database, but it would be better than nothing.
Thanks for sharing your story,
Teresa
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Ruth



Joined: 05 Jun 2002
Posts: 86
Location: greater Portland, Oregon area

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2002 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. You may want to add "teachers who have cancer, had cancer, died from cancer, etc." in your research. That and fibromyalgia.
I know many with that and the other "allergic responses" from molds. I know of one, fantastic 5th grade teacher who retired early because she was so sick with what I now know are allergic responses. They lost a great teacher.
That school is ticketed to be torn down next year, due to molds and earthquake safety updates and more needed. that school district freely admitted the problems (unlike my husbands' school dist. which is hiding them.)
The teacher also lived a couple blocks from my mold house. When I was back at the house this week I noticed a giant dumpster and the "signs" of remediation happening at her house too. So, she also got double-whammied - just like my husband. The kids really lost a wonderful teacher.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2002 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess what!! Rats and other vermin are OK in our public schools in Austin. Just thought you should know it is officially NOT a problem. Gonna go video tape the little buggers running around the building at night and try to get one of the news stations to investigate. Big rats too. BIG NASTY POOPING RATS. I am so relieved it is no big deal (NOT).
Will send you my address so you can write when I get arrested for making a ruckus. Did you know that under the Patriot act anyone that causes the public to be afraid could be considered a terrorist? So much for wrapping the schools in biohazard tape.
T
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TOXIC MOLD

http://www.mold-help.org

The most comprehensive mold website with complete information on toxic mold (stachybotrys, penicillium, aspergillus, fusarium, chaetomium, and cladosporium) . Images, physicians list, symptoms, medical updates, descriptions, discussion board, and several other topics.