Sampson: Manalapan Early Dismissal Went By the Books

The Freehold Regional High School District said the school was cleared of paint fumes, but dismissed on May 2 as a precaution.

A precutionary early dismissal on May 2 at was done by the books, according to Superintendent Charles Sampson.

At approximately 11:35 a.m., students and faculty in the high school. The cause of the odor was determined to be paint fumes coming from the boiler room.

"It was unacceptable," Sampson said.

Sampson expanded by saying the paint was approved for use in school, but not doing school hours.

County health officials cleared the building and advised that evacuation was unnecessary, however school officials decided to dismiss students at 2 p.m., after arrangements were made for busing.

During the situation, students were kept away from the area of school where odor was detected. In addition, Sampson said, students were not allowed to eat cafeteria food, for fear it was exposed to fumes.

But Manalapan mother Gina Francia said she called the school at noon, and was told there was nothing to worry about. According to Sampson, the decision for early dismissal was made at 11:55 a.m.

"I can't control how an individual chooses to interpret or respond," Sampson said of the phone call.

Francia said she was told by the main office at Manalapan High School that the situation was simply that a teacher became ill during the day. She did not receive the emergency alert robo-call until 12:54 p.m.

"What if it was flammable, what if it was combustible?" she said. "Why weren't they brought outside to fresh air?"

Sampson said the school acted on the advice of the county health officials, who had cleared the building, and followed procedure to dispatch buses early.

anonymous May 08, 2012 at 01:17 PM
"...I can't control how an individual chooses to interpret or respond..." said Mr. Sampson. Yes, Mr. Sampson that is correct. However, YOU should have been there and directed the evacuation. You failed to respond even though you were a mere 5 minutes away. Poor leadership displayed on your part. You poor leadership and management is also displayed in the Simon matter. This case is unraveling and you know it. In the end, it will cost taxpayers a huge sum. Mr. Simon will get reinstated, and you will have egg on your face for listening to people around you who gave you improper advice.
Anonymous May 08, 2012 at 10:21 PM
So I guess Ms. Sharpe put kids in danger not Mr. Simon by allowing this to be done during the school day?
cynicinmarlboro May 08, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Of course Mrs. Sharp did everything by the book. Did you expect that Mr. Sampson's choice for acting principal would do anything wrong? However, based on some of the comments posted here in the original article it sounds like much was done wrong.
Gina Guzzi Francia May 09, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Actually, my main concerns were that children not brought outside immediately, not asked if there were feeling any symptons prior to being sent home, and especially yo be given information that all was well! Time line is subject to interpetation, i believe incident started to unfold at 10:30 and i called at 12. I have read the MSDS sheet and it clearly states fresh air, and flash point is 104. That sheet is public record and should have been posted and reviewed prior to use


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