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I am writing to express my disbelief that the bond issue for the school roofs has been voted down. I am deeply shocked that the health and safety of the children in our schools has been compromised.

Every year, this district spends thousands of dollars and man-hours repairing walls and ceilings in the schools that have been damaged by water leakage. With each passing year, the probability of mold growth increases. In order to get rid of the mold, the walls and ceilings have to be ripped out and replaced. Often, mold will grow behind damp walls and may go unnoticed for years. If this is the case, children with allergies and asthma will be the first to suffer. If the mold growth continues to go unchecked, even healthy people exposed to it will get sick. Eventually the school may have to be shutdown or worse. If you go online, you can search for "schools closed due to mold." You will see dozens of articles on schools across the country being closed due to unchecked mold problems. Some of those schools have been shut permanently or demolished because the problem was so bad.

Another problem is the danger created by the roof structures being compromised. The water leakage causes the wood holding up the roofs to rot. That, in turn, weakens the roof supports. Last year, Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park was shut down temporarily when part of the roof and ceiling came down on the children during a class. Fortunately, the injuries were minor. We have no guarantees that we would be as lucky if we had a similar incident.

For those of you who are worried about your taxes going up, consider this: The value of your homes are based largely on the school district. If this district, for any reason, becomes questionable, your house will not be worth its weight in salt.

Don't risk the health and safety of our children. Let your voice be heard by writing to the Board of Education and Dr. Gordon expressing your concern and asking for a revote.

Terri Hovanec

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