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An Open Letter to Superintendent Lyon
Dear Superintendent Lyon,
My daughter turns 11 today and my wife wrote in her memory book, “You have been my eternal sunshine, my darling baby girl.” Everybody who has been or will be exposed to PCBs on the Malibu High School and/or Juan Cabrillo Elementary School campuses is somebody’s baby girl or baby boy. That is why we cannot simply accept the district’s assurances that both campuses are safe.
I do not doubt that Superintendent Lyon, the school board, and their advisors are making their best faith efforts to assure that our children are safe. I do not doubt that they truly believe our children will be safe under their plan. But that is not good enough. Nobody should ask a parent to send their children into a situation of potential harm unless that parent believes the child will be safe. We understand that on something as simple as field trips. Why is it so hard to extend that same understanding to the schools themselves?
And this is what we at AMPS and, I believe, the vast majority of Malibu’s parents are asking of the district: include us in this conversation. You need to come to Malibu and hold open, public, town hall meetings, starting in the next week or two. Get a moderator if you think that helps. But stand in front of the parents, tell them of your plan and your thinking. Listen to their questions and concerns. See where you need to change your views. See where you can persuade parents of the logic of your position.
Our community is in agony now. You are asking something that we cannot do. You are asking that we trust you to decide how much is enough when it comes to frightening contamination. We need more. We need to talk to you, to hear your logic, to question your assumptions. We need you to hear us. We need you to work collaboratively with us to find a solution that meets the needs of our community.
It is not ok that so many people have been thrown into such worry. Please honor this request. Please meet with the community, all members of the community who choose to attend. Please stand in a public forum and present your research and your plan. Earn our confidence. Be good stewards of our trust. Do it soon and until the conversation is complete.
Thank you for your understanding.
President, Advocates for Malibu Public Schools Foundation