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Monday, July 23, 2007 | As a 29-year, dedicated teacher in San Diego Unified School District, one who became very ill and am still on leave of absence from working in its damp, filthy buildings, I must say that CAO José Betancourt’s strong attention to the physical conditions in the schools is a necessary change. Under former Superintendent Alan Bersin, when I and others complained about mold, leaks, construction dust, or other hazards in our schools, we were often intimidated or harassed.
There was an atmosphere of fear and non-response. Thus, students and staff were exposed to unhealthy conditions that for some like me, led to serious, chronic health problems. If Mr. Betancourt turned that system upside down, my compliments to him. Even though I remain disabled and San Diego Unified refuses to accommodate me so I can work again, I recommend that Mr. Betancourt remain to protect the health of the school occupants by insisting on clean, well maintained buildings. To learn why this is so important, please visit www.schoolmoldhelp.org, the nonprofit I founded to provide solutions for school mold.