Robertson: Regarding the safety of Norrell Elementary School

Norrell Elementary School is safe. We base our trust that it is safe on extensive testing, studies, reports and results documented by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Department of Health, the Richmond Department of Public Utilities, the Richmond Department of Public Works, and an independent environmental consultant (France Environmental).

We asked that Norrell Elementary School be tested and it was, thoroughly. It passed all the tests for safety and there are no environmental hazards at the school, none whatsoever. We have reams of documented proof from nearly every respected environmental agency that Norrell is safe.

Throughout this process, our parents and children have come to the table, asked questions, and have received factual information regarding the safety of the school in order to help guide their decisions regarding its use. There are, however, some out there who are neither parents nor that have children attending the school who are expressing concern. I invite those individuals to come to the table, become informed, review the reports, and get the facts.

Since the children attending Norrell Elementary School are members of our families living the Northside 6th District, I will be holding a special meeting for any concerned citizens in order for them to be informed on the facts as they take up their special charge of advising our children in the Gateway 6th District. We want our community dialogue to be open and honest and for our parents and children to have factual information and not be told what is not true.

If the community determines it wants to make decisions based on perception and false fears, rather than factual information, then we shall say so. If we desire closing schools where testing has been done, then let’s do that. But please, let’s not make claims that are unfounded or make decisions that are not based on facts.

By all information sources, Norrell Elementary School is safe.


  1. #1 • antonio bolling •

    I as a parent of two kids attending norrell elementary school place my trust in the hands of the richmond school board that all info is true concerning the safety at the school . That being said if the school is closed prematurely that would cause a lot of doubt as to safety of my kids. Let the kids learn if the school is safe TELL US if its not dont close the school.