East County school to reopen despite concerns of toxins

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EL CAJON, Calif. -- An El Cajon elementary school that has been closed since last year due to concerns about toxic fumes making students and staff sick plans to reopen in a few months, which has some parents concerned.

Attorneys have filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against Amatek, a Pennsylvania-based company that ran an aerospace facility next to Magnolia Elementary School for several years. The lawsuit claims the company dumped toxic waste into the ground below the campus from 1963 through the early '80s.

"There’s a giant, contaminated plume that is underground, underneath the school and vapors have come up through the soil, through the slab of the school and into the indoor air, so little kids and teachers who are of child-bearing age are breathing toxic fumes,” attorney John Fiske told FOX 5.

The Cajon Valley School District plans to reopen the school in a few months, which worries Fiske and some parents.

"I’m just a little bit concerned about her health and safety, stuff like that. I want my daughter to go to school to learn and not get sick,” said Henry Klingman.

The district's superintendent, David Miyashiro, sent FOX 5 a statement that reads in part, "Experts have monitored and maintained data that shows the site is and has been safe."

Amatek diverted all calls about the lawsuit to its headquarters, which did not return FOX 5's requests for comment.