As a parent, we can only hope that when we send our children to school each day they are not only getting the best education possible but are also being taken care of nutritionally. Unfortunately, this is not the case for nearly 50,000 students and it's a huge problem.
We should be able to trust that the cafeteria has healthy choices and will feel our children if our busy mom brains forgot to give them lunch money, or they left is on the counter at home. And above all of that, our children should have access to clean water whenever they are thirsty throughout the day.
Across the United States, it's back to school season. Children are packing up their backpacks, filled to the brim with school supplies and waiting at the bus stop with anxious parents for that big yellow bus to pull up. In Detroit alone, there are 47,000 students going through these motions, but the difference is that none of these children will have access to clean drinking water.
The discovery of the contaminated water happened only recently in April when Detroit’s Public School District tested the water. Their findings showed that drinking water in 24 schools and found that 16 had high levels of copper and lead. Because of this, officials have made the decision to shut off the drinking water in 106 public schools in the district while they can test the remaining schools’ drinking water supply.
This news is extremely alarming because if consumed, water with high levels of copper and lead can cause including nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea - and even more worrisome in children. Beyond that, if the water is consumed long term, according to the World Health Organization, developmental and behavioral delays can come into play.
Superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, did explain in a statement that though 24 schools were found with this contamination that it doesn't necessarily mean that all schools will be impacted. They are just playing it safe at this time.
In order to rectify the issue, the school has announced that they will be spending $200,000 on water bottles and coolers for the next two months. If the issue takes longer then that to resolves, they will be discussing a long-term contract to make sure that kids have access to safe drinking water in the long run.