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School rule 

Parents seeking to keep their children out of the new Beard School on Detroit’s southwest side were dealt a severe setback last week when U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood ruled that the facility could open.

Because the school is built on a site contaminated by PCBs, lead, arsenic and other toxic material, parents wanted assurances that the facility is safe before sending their youngsters through its doors. But Hood ruled that “there is no immediate threat of harm to the kids, given what the Detroit Public Schools has agreed to do” says attorney Alma Lowry, who represents the parents.

The DPS, which removed contaminated soil from the school site, agreed to monitor the area, test groundwater, hire an independent consultant to evaluate the steps taken and solicit community involvement in the process.

But this does not satisfy the parents, says Lowry. “What happens from here is we move forward with the trial and do what we can to make sure the Beard school is safe,” she says.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or

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