Tuesday, November 7th, 2006
New law could prove costly to local schools
By William Kincaid
FORT RECOVERY - Student parking areas at Fort Recovery High School may be in violation of a new state law, according to Superintendent David Riel.
Riel told a crowd of community members during a public meeting last week that Jarod's Law would be "massive for Fort Recovery."
Gov. Bob Taft signed Jarod's Law on Dec. 19, 2005. The new legislation - created in response to the death of a 6-year-old boy when a cafeteria table fell on him at a school in Lebanon - will require health departments to pen new rules concerning the inspection of schools for dangerous health and safety conditions.
By law, the new rules are to become effective by Sept. 21, 2007.
"We were told cars would not be permitted to park 50 feet within any school building," Riel said.
Riel said that almost all of the currently designated parking areas for high school students would be in violation of Jarod's Law. However, he was unsure if the new elementary and middle school building, located on Sharpsburg Road, would be affected.
Riel pointed out that Fort Recovery would not be the only school facing the same problem. The new rule also mandates that buses may idle only within 50 feet of a school building for five minutes. The 50-foot rule, according to Riel, was written to prevent car bombings and to reduce the effects of exhaust.
Currently, county sanitarians inspect area schools several times each year checking for basic safety and sanitary violations, including cleanliness, lighting and ventilation, based on guidelines from the late '70s.
The new law is expected to include issues that were unheard of three decades ago, like indoor air quality. Also, recalls on school equipment will be passed on to the schools by the health department. The table that killed the Lebanon boy reportedly had been deemed a safety hazard, however, the school was not aware of the recall.
"I know all the (cafeteria) tables you're sitting in will have to go," Riel told those in attendance at the meeting. "I can guarantee you that."
Reil did not discuss possible solutions to the potential parking violation, as the intention of the meeting was to simply gather public input about a possible high school renovation or construction project.