Warren City School Board Approves Lawn Chemical Use On School Grounds

Here is another brilliant decision by this most august group of educated people. This is the letter I wrote to the school district business administrator–who ultimately made this decision. After having gave all the information the board needed to make the right decision to STOP having the lawn sprayed…. They indicated “they needed more information” So, essentially, they must approve of it.

Mr. Donnelly,

I, and many have been closely monitoring your dialog with concerns from the few parents who have wised up and stepped forward to question what is obviously no one else’s but YOUR irresponsible decision to use lawn chemicals on school grounds. Your smug reasoning, to say the least, is utterly disrespectful to the tax-paying parents of this school district, whether they are informed about the issue yet.….or not.

Your justifications in using lawn chemicals are truly archaic in every conceivable way—and in fact, for those in the know, are catch all cookie cutter dialog spewed out by the lawn care services themselves. Had you read the information I provided you with, there would be no questioning this issue.

Your justification for need is solely from a mere cosmetic standpoint—that in many places is flat out illegal to use such products simply because someone may have become conditioned with the perception of what a lawn should consist of—and look like—by these companies. Their mission is to sell people on a regimen of chemical applications, much like cell phone sales people sell us a plan for the phone. Please listen once again… A LAWN DOES NOT HAVE TO BE MONO-CULTURE! Please de-program the thinking injected by the lawn care industry…..and start actually thinking.

By using these products, you are in fact killing the soil’s natural ability to maintain a healthy system of checks and balances–by killing 95% of the beneficial organisms in the soil–that achieve this natural system of checks and balances—and hence, the lawn is left without a natural immune system (so to speak)—making it even more susceptible to so called ‘pests’ that these companies apparently set out to destroy in the first place.

Now we become hooked on this never ending “drugs-for-the lawn” cycle because it cannot maintain itself without a chemical trying to do what nature used to do for free. And, because you think a lawn must consist of blades of grass only—instead of a healthy bio-diverse lawn and soil. Your rationale that ‘the chemicals are watered down’ is one that takes root (pardon the pun, please)…in the traditional sales pitches of the lawn care services. It is such a weak and pathetic justification. When we witness some 2 out of every 5 households participating in this monkey-see-monkey do nightmare….. It is simply unbelievable to see a school—a supposed institution of learning and better example setting—jump on the bandwagon too!

That’s right Mr. Donnelly…the chemicals are “watered down” and winding up in our drinking water. See the annual drinking water report. I also think they’ve watered down our ability to use common sense! “Watered down” you say… Hmmmm…. Just enough here….and just enough there to all add up someday and make someone sick. Just enough, when all added together from everyone else doing it…..to contribute greatly to the pollution of our local waters. That’s brilliant thinking from our educating body in this city! “Watered down” just enough to contribute ’just a little’ to more breathing problems when children, pets and adults are forced to smell and expose themselves to what equates to a chemical fertilizer factory stench in their backyard each spring.

Indeed, all this because your best answer is that you have done it for years and nothing has happened to you. Bravo!!! I smoked for 40 years and I’m fine, so that must mean smoking is just a swell thing to do, right? Well, you really don’t know if or when being exposed to such chemicals right on your lawn could harm you personally, But….how do you know someone else isn’t being affected? Many allergic reactions are mistaken for hay fever–when in reality, they can be traced back to chemical exposure. Something else you would have learned had you read the latest information well documented by leading world health authorities.

To me, it seems you’re willing to take a risky approach to this issue and listen to whatever the lawn guy tells you while ignoring the known facts. As a business administrator and perhaps one well schooled in business, you likely know that taking risks is what helps such people reach the top of the ladder of success, however, please leave this risk taking mentality to your business endeavors, and leave it OFF our school grounds!

Have you read the labels on these chemicals and the suggested safety preparation methods for using them? If you did, you have to be out of your mind to want to use them just for the sake of green grass–which by nature, is not supposed to be green all year ’round. Thanks for helping turn our waters green too. There are so many things that place our health at risk these days. Why add one more just for the sake of green grass!

The sad thing about all this is that you are choosing to do what countless other communities and school districts have made the wise decision NOT to do. Had you read the information, you would have learned this as well. Additionally, you are not only wasting tax payers money by getting yourself into a never ending spray regimen. You are denying people the RIGHT TO KNOW!

You are also denying the school science classes a chance to develop an educational pilot program which could be aimed at creating a safer, less oil, money, and energy dependent property….. which could not only look gorgeous….BUT, be the envy of other schools–and the give the district the kind of progressive kudos schools in only the most progressive cities receive.

There are so many exciting and progressive ideas in how we chose to landscape, so that we lighten our impact on natural resources—implemented elsewhere—but here—still waiting to be tapped due to an unwillingness on your part to learn. Because of decisions like yours in a time when we should know better about these things, we leave the burden for the next one to undo all the resulting mistakes. How costly will that be in dollars and sense in the future.

Use your business management sense to figure that out. All the above opportunity you deny the schools the chance of—simply because you chose to remain on the bandwagon of mediocrity and remaining in denial, Shameful! Congrats! Our own school science classes teach of the harms and threats contaminated runoff poses to our water resources, yet you chose to be a part of the problem.

Lastly, the anal obsession in society with the lawn these days would have one believing that the final product will be used as a food supply for the community—-And maybe to reap a financial profit. But NO… Not even that benefit can result. (unless you eat this grass…..but be sure to wash off the poisons with the contaminated tap water) It is all just about the idea etched in our minds by the lawn care fad through various media advertising sources—that anything in the yard other than a blade of grass is taboo. Well, you can keep the health risks, no matter how minute you may feel they are—And I will err on the side of safety. I’ll take the harmless dandelion. Maybe I will make a salad, wine, or medicine. You, on the other hand can drink a shot of the lawn chemicals! If you still insist the grass needs to be green…then cut it once a week so that those beautiful little yellow, white, red, and violet flowers never show their harmless faces again!

Robert Carillio
Concerned Citizen of the District

P.S. I know you may find this letter very forward to say the least, but it is a reaction out of your total lack of regard and disrespect for those who have brought forth this important issue—and choosing to stick to your personal agenda. Instead of altering your opinions to fit the facts, you are altering the facts to fit your opinions. I tried approaching you with the utmost respect and you chose to patronize the issue and then blow it off. Indeed, this has been unacceptable and inappropriate behavior on your part–and as tax paying citizens, we demand more accountability. This letter and your replies will be shared with our wonderful audience. I hope that you share mine.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 11:53 PM

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