Holy Angels School to re-open after resolving elevated lead levels

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Holy Angels is scheduled to re-open on Monday. (WLS)

A Catholic school in the Bronzeville neighborhood that closed this week due to high levels of lead in the air is set to re-open on Monday.

However, some parents at Holy Angels School are not happy and concerned that school officials are not being clear about the dangers to children.

The school closed after officials detected airborne lead following boiler repairs.

The Archdiocese of Chicago had promised free lead testing for all 170 children at the South Side school, however, parent David Fields arranged for testing on his own for his 12-year-old son Elijah Fields.

"We have been looking at and breathing in that stuff -- what could happen to us? So I'm a little bit worried," said Elijah, while at the Bronzeville Medical Center.

"I am extremely worried," David Fields said. "That is why I brought my son up here to get tested. I wasn't going to wait for the archdiocese."

Industrial cleaning crews, along with city engineering and public health officials, had descended on Holy Angels all week.

Archdiocese officials said the old part of the building, where the lead was found, is being sealed off from students who will be confined to the newer west wing.

But Fields is skeptical. His son is one of about 60 kids transferred last year from nearby St. Elizabeth.

"I am not trusting the archdiocese because they took my son out of one school that was infested with lead and put him into another school that had a higher content of lead," Fields said.

Elijah's doctor said that lead tends to do its damage to children six and under, and Elijah has no outward signs of poisoning such as stained teeth. But again, his father is still worried.

"I don't deserve to be somewhere like that where they can expose you to something that can give you cancer," Elijah said.

The city's Department of Public Health must certify the school is safe before it can re-open Monday.
Related Topics:
newschicago archdiocesecatholic schoolChicago - Bronzeville
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