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January 30, 2012 - 7:16pm

Statement released by the Le Roy Central School District

posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

Press release:

Kim Cox, the superintendent of the Le Roy Central School District, is referring media inquiries on medical and environmental questions to the experts from the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. They are best equipped to answer your technical questions, as they have ours. 

As has been communicated, the District has been working closely for months with numerous medical professionals, the State Department of Health, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. All of these agencies and dozens of professionals from these agencies have assured the District that the school is safe.

There is no evidence of an environmental situation or infectious cause. In addition, to help assist the District with assessing all aspects of this situation, it hired its own independent environmental expert to conduct a review of the findings and offer alternative approaches, if needed. This was done not because the District questioned the state medical professionals or federal agencies, but to help reassure the community.

There are also some who are attempting to marry the 1970 derailment to the school when in fact the plume has been shown as moving in the opposite direction some three miles away.   

The Le Roy community should take assurance that the Department of Health concluded extensive reviews of both the epidemiology and the clinical evaluations and found no evidence of environmental or infection as the cause of the students’ illness. An environmental exposure would affect many people.

The treating physicians ruled out PANDAS. The school was tested for Volatile Organic Compounds (including TCE) by an independent firm. The school is served by a public water system. The Gardasil vaccine was ruled out because many of the girls did not receive the vaccine. The Department of Environmental Conservation reaffirmed the evaluation that there is no evidence of environmental factors.

The District will certainly welcome input from outside experts if they choose to offer it in a professional and constructive manner. It will rely on its own expert as well as counsel from the Department of Health, DEC and EPA as to whether any further testing is deemed appropriate.  However, in the event that it is recommended, it will be done with a specific plan based upon all available information and accepted scientific protocols.

The District wants to be clear that it has confidence with respect to the conclusions of the Department of Health based upon its comprehensive review of this situation as well as the assessment of the physicians at the DENT Neurologic Institute. 

The Le Roy Central School District and the Le Roy community want what is best for the children in the schools. Unfortunately, the endless speculation without factual basis is creating an extreme level of anxiety and concern. Students are unable to focus on learning. The constant attention has had a negative impact on the recovery of some of the students who are directly affected, many who were improving and whose symptoms have now become exacerbated.

The District knows this has been an emotionally hard situation on the community and everyone hopes for the speedy recovery of its students.

Daniel Jones
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CYA, anyone? That last sentence was also very patronizing. No explanation, not even an excuse, just a shrill retort of 'why are you questioning us'?

Mark Potwora
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Unfortunately, the endless speculation without factual basis is creating an extreme level of anxiety and concern. Students are unable to focus on learning. The constant attention has had a negative impact on the recovery of some of the students who are directly affected, many who were improving and whose symptoms have now become exacerbated...............So it now the public's fault..and the parents who took this to a national level...Wow.......

John Roach
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Dan,
On what do you base your claim of CYA?

How does Dan think that nobody else in LeRoy, not going to that school, has not been affected? Why almost all girls? No teachers or other staff? Has anyone else who lives close to the site been reported come down with this? Have you noticed the abuse of legal substances was not mentioned, and that is something the school can not check? And why did it show this year and not last year?

Dan, can you tells why they would cover it up? What motivation would the School Board have? They have kids going to that school. Or are you saying the Superintendent is lying or withholding information from the Board? And why would he do it?

Or, are you saying the DEC is covering this up?

Kyle Couchman
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John... you can also ask yourself why was the community ignored for weeks while the tics were being reported. Why did the the District the call the community together and give a bunch of dubious facts that were argued by the very victims then tell us they knew what happened but couldn't tell us. Why after some students went on morning TV shows does a doctor then throw HIPPA out the window and tell us the supposed diagnosis. Whch from what I understand is how most of the victims found a definite answer on what they were going through. Why does the school district hire extra police and a pr lawyer to release statements to the press instead of talking directly to the community that pays it bills and supplies it with the very reason for it's jobs.

Its a very basic premise..... The school district was not willing to communicate anything with the public, and has only done so when forced to. When you do this you make the public guess and suppose. No one knows what the district has to hide but if they dont show us reports or tell us whats going on then they deserve all the bad press and hardship they have right now as they have created it with their own actions.

Own your mistakes and make it right with the community Leroy School District.

Ted Wenzka
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John Roach - I agree with you completely.

Kyle Couchman, Mark Potwora, and Daniel Jones -
People like you are the whole problem. You see the bad guys behind every tree. Instead of helping you do nothing but bring misinformation to the process. The next thing you will tell us is the Elvis is still alive and kicking.

Judith Kinsley ...
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Substance abuse was ruled out a very long time ago as stated in more than one past post. Which was why no one answered the last 2 times you asked. I don't believe the school is trying to hide anything. My problem with the administration is that they have given us no useful information from day one. It appears to be a total disinterest in taking any responsibility at all for finding out the answers. Mr. Young from the NYS Dept. of Health who spoke at the "informational meeting" flat out lied to us all, not a good way to start. He said they knew the cause but they wouldn't release it due to HIPPA. My daughter was sitting next to Thera (one of the victims) and her mother and neither one of them had a clue what the man was talking about. And to have 4 other parents raise their hands in that room to state their daughters also had no diagnosis was insulting. My daughter questioned that man in tears because she thought he and the school administration were there to give her and these girls answers, she trusted them to do so and it became obvious to her that was not their intention. Next came Dr. Laszlo, who is making hundreds of thousands of dollars from drug companies a year. A total conflict of interest if indeed the cause was the drugs he is spokesperson for, which it could have been but has since been ruled out. He diagnosed a psychological illness (from afar for some) rather than investigating other more concrete causes. To jump to that conclusion without having examined all the girls (he lied when he said he had) was crazy. To label these girls with psychological issues before investigating other possible causes bordered on malpractice. The doctors who examined 9 of them on Sunday said it is absolutely not "conversion disorder."

I believe the school does owe the kids, their parents and everyone who works there a full scale environmental investigation to rule out environmental causes, if nothing else, considering the fact that the one thing all these kids have in common is that they attend that school. It very well may not be that, let's rule it out then. What we've received so far are two sad little tests. I'm being told now that the reason they have not released more information is that they do not want us to "panic." My daughter and I are not scared, we're frustrated. The lack of answers to alleviate the suffering of these young people and to assure no one else has to suffer the same is the real issue to me.

Bowcock's team has said that the dump site on Gulf Road is more than likely not the cause of this. I believe it is a residual finding that we as residents needed to know, regardless of its relation to the original situation. Which is how it should be. Rule out what it probably is not and find out what it is.

And, the superintendent is a she, Mrs. Cox.

John Roach
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Judith,
Thank you. I knew illegal drug use had been ruled out, but did not know legal substances like 'Spice', had been checked. Maybe the District can get the parents to give a HIPPA release?

I don't doubt the Board has handled this poorly and look inept. But to say they are deliberately covering something up, in my opinion only, is baseless.

Judith Kinsley ...
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This has never been about HIPPA. Thera and the others had no issue at all sharing what they knew. Problem was, they didn't know! Instead they were backed into a corner where their only solution was to go on national television to ask for help. How sad for them that it came to that. Had it not been for their courage and the resulting assistance received from the media and others that saw the show, there would have been no progress at all and no one at all looking for answers. So many thanks to the girls are in order.

Listening to the Buzz this morning I had the misfortune of hearing someone named Paula with a daughter named Mary who graduated from LeRoy. Poor little Mary was embarrassed by her association to LeRoy. Paula would like to "bitch slap" these young woman. I'm embarrassed to admit I live in the same town as Paula who very clearly demonstrates the level of ignorance these girls have been subjected to. It also clearly shows what strong women they are to have made themselves vulnerable to this sort of cruelty so they can get the answers they need. I know that there are a lot more good people in that town who feel nothing but compassion for these kids than there are Paulas. Its just that the Paulas are so loud.

Beth Kinsley
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Amen to that. I didn't hear Paula call in but did hear them playing the sound clip over and over again and laughing about it. Nothing funny at all about this situation.

C. M. Barons
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Among the benefits of working B Shift, my drive time precludes morning talk radio. Trivializing the human condition for the sake of cheap laughs is one of several slopes one should avoid slipping down. Sadly, morning radio hosts glory in it.

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