Children Forced to Change Schools Because of SoCalGas Blowout

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The Los Angeles Unified School District board authorized the temporary relocation of 1900 students and staff to schools away from Porter Ranch, CA. The authorization came after many Porter Ranch parents signed a change.org petition, demanding for the relocation of their children.

Southern California Gas Co. discovered a massive blowout in October 2015 in its Aliso Canyon facility, which is located a mile away from Porter Ranch. The community continues to suffer as the gas seeps into homes, businesses, and schools.

The School District board initiated the authorization on Dec. 17, 2015 and also called for the general counsel to initiate litigation against SoCalGas for the company’s negligence to maintain and operate its facility. The compensation may be used to fix any damages caused by the gas well blowout.

Hundreds of students were reported absent from school because of physical ailments such as nausea, vomiting, nosebleeds, and headaches. Many have transferred to different schools or have started home school in order to continue with their curriculum.

The two schools that will be relocated are Castlebay Elementary School and Porter Ranch Community School. Students from Castlebay will be relocated to Sunny Brae Avenue Elementary in Winnetka. Those from Porter Ranch Community will be relocated to Northridge Middle School.

The schools will begin relocating children starting Jan. 11, after the winter break. District staff will have to work over the holiday break in order to ensure that the relocation is conducted in time.

Many families are still looking for housing closer to schools that their children can transfer to. Thousands of families are waiting on SoCalGas for relocation assistance. The gas company is providing a relocation package for families who want to live in temporary housing or hotels until the gas well blowout is fixed. The company also opened a resource center in Porter Ranch that offers relocation services for residents.

Porter Ranch’s situation has worsened over the past two months and relocating students is the next step taken by district authorities to help residents continue with their daily lives.