School grounds in the Sacramento School Unified School District are exposed to various pesticides, some of which contain dangerous toxins. These toxins are present in the pesticides that are used to spray around SCUSD schools’ campuses. Pesticides such as Roundup Pro, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, are used around campuses. The full list of pesticides used by the district is available on their website.
Exposure to glyphosate can cause a person to experience symptoms such as, but not limited, to diarrhea, shortness of breath and vomiting.
SCUSD students were surprised to learn that pesticides are being sprayed at their school.
“They spray pesticides, since when?” Leslie Delgadillo, a student at Hiram Johnson High School responded, “I didn’t even know to be honest.”
SCUSD students interviewed for this article answers were unanimous; they were unaware that their school sprays pesticides around campus.
The Healthy Schools Act of 2000 requires that all of California’s school districts provide the parents or guardians of students with annual written notification of the pesticides they expect to apply on the school’s campus during the year. This notification identifies the active ingredients in each pesticides product. According to SCUSD’s Annual Parent and Student Rights Notification and Standard of Behavior booklet, parents have to complete a form to be notified of when pesticides will be sprayed.
Students of Hiram Johnson were surprised to learn that pesticide spraying was included in the Annual Parent and Student Rights Notification and Standard of Behavior booklet.
“Oh really,” says Delgadillo. “I didn’t even know that my school sprays pesticides. I think my school should provide more awareness.”“No way,” says Johnson senior Francine Cortez. “I think they should just tell us when they spray.”
“Oh yeah, I see pesticide being sprayed,” says Luther Burbank junior April Vong. “I don’t really mind, but I think other students will get scared. I think they set it up like this so they won’t bring panic to over concerned parents.”
SCUSD is following the law of notifying parents. Currently, the school code for parents to be notified about pesticide is that they must fill a request application for prior notice of spraying. However, those students who were interviewed for this story believes there should be a change. Students believe that their parents shouldn’t ask when pesticide will be spray, but instead told when pesticides will be sprayed.