FLORISSANT, Mo. – Ashley Bernaugh is president of the Jana Elementary PTA. She described the current school year as an incredible struggle.

Jana Elementary School’s building closed in October because of concerns about radioactive waste. Students were moved to virtual learning and are now learning in person at other district school buildings.

The building was closed after a private company said it found dangerous levels of radioactive waste there. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers responded with its testing and announced its preliminary results, which found the school to be safe.

Bernaugh has expressed frustration and believes a swifter response from federal agencies would have occurred if contamination was found near a more affluent neighborhood.

“I really do not believe we would get the runaround that we have been receiving,” she said.

The Hazelwood School District and several lawmakers have requested more testing that would include other district buildings.

A spokesperson for the St. Louis District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the following statement:

“Although, we do not currently have the authorities within FUSRAP to facilitate the request, we are assessing alternate means of assisting the Hazelwood School District in meeting their objective.”

“The federal government needs to clean up the entire site,” said U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley. “That’s the easy way to put this to bed. Let’s quit fighting about what about this test or what about that test. These are kids were talking about. Clean it up and if you can’t clean it up, build them a new school.”

Bernaugh said Hawley and U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-St. Louis, has been responsive to concerns. She also believes the entire area in question needs to be safely remediated as soon as possible.

“Do what’s right and do what’s responsible and fix this,” Bernaugh said.

She also encourages concerned citizens to reach out to their lawmakers and school board members.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently engaged in a remediation process in areas along Coldwater Creek that is expected to take several years.