The Oakland Unified School District announced Thursday that it is temporarily closing McClymonds High School in West Oakland after a toxic substance, trichloroethylene (TCE), was found in the groundwater on campus.
Officials emphasized that the chemical was not found in the drinking water but in the groundwater under the campus.
While testing of the water continues, the school is being closed “for the health and safety of our students and staff,” said district spokesperson John Sasaki.
Regional officials say the chemical may have come from an offsite location, possibly a nearby business.
“(The school) is closed for at least two days because of a hazardous substance found in the ground — Environmental racism is state-sanctioned violence,” said Oakland Education Association (OEA) President Keith Brown, blaming the school board for the dangerous conditions at the school.
“The OUSD School Board has failed our students and it’s time for a change,” he said in a statement on Facebook.