By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker
Children and teachers at six public schools in Grosse Pointe were subjected to excessive levels of lead and copper, which can cause brain damage, the district announced Monday.
The findings come less than a week after Detroit Public Schools announced that 19 of its schools had elevated levels of lead and copper. Schools across Michigan are testing their water for lead and other contamination in the wake of the Flint water crisis.
Grosse Pointe Public Schools, one of the wealthiest and highest achieving in the state, hired a company to sample water at the district’s 15 schools and found high levels of lead and copper in fountains and sinks. The schools were Barnes Early Childhood, Brownell Middle School, Defer Elementary, Kerby Elementary School, Maire Elementary School and Pierce Middle School.
In a letter to staff and parents, Superintendent Gary Niehaus said an early analysis of the results “appears to indicate more of a problem with individual fixtures than a systemic issue.”
Niehaus said the district has turned off fountains with contaminated water and distributed bottled water to some schools.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.