Testimony of Patricia Brown to the Board of Education, October 17, 2019

Good evening. My name is Patricia Brown. I come to you first as a registered voting constituent of this District. Second, I come as a proud parent and aunt of a graduate from Ben Franklin High School. Third, I come to you last but not least as a proud employee of the School District of Philadelphia at Ben Franklin High School where I have been for the last twenty years.

In this time I would like to honor some people who have worked in that building:*

  • A teacher who passed with breast cancer. Another colleague diagnosed with prostate cancer.
  • A teacher who passed from lung cancer.
  • Another colleague who passed with lung cancer.
  • A colleague diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Another colleague who passed with breast cancer.
  • And, another colleague diagnosed with breast cancer.

All of these people worked in Ben Franklin High School during the time that I have been there. Yes, we’ve had asbestos. This is what you call a cluster of conditions in a building.

What I say to this Board is I want you to think about the safety and health of the people that are currently in that building now. I ask you, I implore you to allow those people that work in that building to get a baseline test for lung cancer, for asbestos, so they have a baseline, so we know that if in twenty years and this shows up they can have a baseline. I’m not blaming anyone at this point but I’m telling you now I need you to work for us, as staff members of Ben Franklin High School.

Thank you.

*Names have been removed to protect their privacy.