Alison Counts

Spot samplings by Eugene’s School District has revealed a few high lead levels in multiple schools, including, Sheldon High School, Kennedy Middle School, and even the district Education Center.

The elevated levels found at two drinking fountains in Sheldon were discovered after testing during late march, but only repaired during April. The district leaders had been uninformed until near last week, and when asked why, the staff considered the repairs “routine.”

The high lead levels could easily be blamed on the piping of the schools, some of which were built before 1986, before lead piping was banned. But because of recent happenstance of high lead levels in Flint, Michigan, people are far faster to blame it on corruptions within the district.

This decidedly “not routine” occurrence of high levels of lead have lead to online petitions by parents for the resignation of Superintendent Carole Smith, despite assurances by district spokeswoman, Kerry Delf, that, “we’re establishing protocols.”

The Portland district has been buying bottled water for students to replace the leaded water; they have bought near 1 million bottles of water for students to last until the end of the school year.

For most districts, the school year will be ending Tuesday, June 16. Delf has assured the parents and students that testing in all schools will happen over the summer. Until then, minor repairs will be made to some of the schools.