Frustrated parents of children who attend Dixie Canyon Avenue Elementary School in Sherman Oaks criticized school district officials for not keeping their promise to move an electrical transformer away from an outside wall of a kindergarten classroom.
Pressured by parents and a kindergarten teacher at the school, Los Angeles Unified School District officials agreed six weeks ago to relocate the transformer at an estimated cost of $100,000.
But in a meeting with parents last week, district officials said they agreed too hastily to relocate the transformer and that moving it is not the most cost-effective solution.
"You can't just do that overnight," said David Koch, the school district's business manager.
Koch said the district is examining other alternatives, such as shielding the transformer or making the classroom near the transformer a storage room so children will not be exposed to the high levels of electromagnetic fields measured there in December.
Electromagnetic fields are present wherever an electrical current passes through a wire. EMFs are the subject of a scientific debate as a potential cause of childhood cancer.
Dixie Canyon parents, who first reacted angrily March 11 to reports that the transformer exposed their children to strong electromagnetic fields, said they were frustrated that no action had been taken. They again called for the district to resolve the matter.
"We're not going away," said Anne Ward, whose daughter is in the kindergarten class near the transformer.
The 33 kindergartners whose classroom is the focus of the controversy are attending class in the school library until a new bungalow can be installed.
"It's a nightmare," Ward said. "It really is. The kids don't understand what's going on."