Superintendent talks mercury spill, has no idea when it got on c - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Superintendent talks mercury spill, has no idea when it got on campus

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CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky addresses the media concerning mercury contamination in this image from Sept. 9, 2016. (Source: FOX5) CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky addresses the media concerning mercury contamination in this image from Sept. 9, 2016. (Source: FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

For the first time, the superintendent of the Clark County School District is addressing the public after a mercury spill shut down Johnson Junior High School.

Classes were canceled for a second day on Friday. On Thursday night, parents were critical of district leaders for not attending an open house designed to address questions and concerns.

“There was no information given! That is why we are here!” screamed one parent.

“Why are they not here talking to us?” yelled another.

The meeting was a chaotic mess. Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky broke his silence the next morning.

“We understand the frustration. We're equally as frustrated because we don't have the answers to the questions that they are putting out there,” he said.

Skorkowsky confirmed that even though the school was locked down on Wednesday night, the mercury somehow got on campus before that day. Other than that, he said investigators don’t have any sort of time table.

Now, parents are concerned their kids’ clothes could have been contaminated before they had a chance to be screened on Wednesday night.

“Why did you allow the kids back to school on Wednesday if the spill happened on Tuesday?” yelled one parent at Thursday’s meeting.

“I am here to tell you that this did not happen on Tuesday,” said another parent. “(My son) touched it on Friday.”

Skorkowsky said the district was unaware the substance could have possibly been on campus on Friday until the meeting. He now tells FOX5 the district will be reaching out to concerned parents with personal phone calls.

“Every parent has a right to be angry, but they also have a right to listen to explanations and trying to understand how we don't all have the information to the questions that they're asking right now,” he said. “We can’t communicate what we don’t know.”

Randy Nattis of the Environmental Protection Agency said it is not scientifically possible to find out when the mercury first arrived on campus. Investigators will have to figure that out on their own.

If you remember what your child was wearing on a day when you think he or she may have been exposed, you are urged to place the items in a bag and bring them to the school for screening.

“We've done a good job of getting things together,” Skorkowsky said. “I think (the process) worked.”

The superintendent said he is confident the school will be clean and back open on Monday.

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