Bellport school near landfill to stay open despite health concerns

Posted: Updated:
BELLPORT -

Frank P. Long Intermediate School in Bellport will be open this school year, despite pleas from parents, teachers and students to have it closed over reoccurring health issues. 

The South Country School Board voted to keep the building open after a heated public hearing Wednesday night.

The school sits in the shadow of the Brookhaven Town Landfill, which many have blamed for ongoing health issues like asthma, thyroid cancer and connective tissue disease in teachers.

School officials, who didn't want to speak to News 12, told parents Wednesday that testing in the area has found nothing significant. The state Health Department called the indoor air samples "unremarkable" and the Department of Environmental Conservation blamed "vehicular traffic" for any positive volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).  

Trish Gallina, a teacher at the school for 10 years and second vice president of the Teachers Association, says being inside the school is to blame for her chronic medical issues and a past battle with cancer.

"We were very disappointed last night, but we are not going to stop our quest to find out where the problems are coming from and how to support our teachers and students," she told News 12 Long Island

She added that it was "kind of obvious [the school board] made the decision before they heard the testimony from everyone."

  • EducationMore>>

  • Suffolk Community College students could see tuition hike

    Suffolk Community College students could see tuition hike

    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:21 PM EDT2018-04-20 02:21:15 GMT
    A proposed tuition hike could result in Suffolk County Community College students paying an extra $300 next year.A proposed tuition hike could result in Suffolk County Community College students paying an extra $300 next year.

    A proposed tuition hike could result in Suffolk County Community College students paying an extra $300 next year.

    A proposed tuition hike could result in Suffolk County Community College students paying an extra $300 next year.

  • East Rockaway school implements clear backpack policy

    East Rockaway school implements clear backpack policy

    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:06 PM EDT2018-04-19 23:06:36 GMT
    Students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School will now have to use clear backpacks in school in the wake of the Parkland school massacre on Valentine’s Day.Students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School will now have to use clear backpacks in school in the wake of the Parkland school massacre on Valentine’s Day.
    Students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School will now have to use clear backpacks in school in the wake of the Parkland school massacre on Valentine’s Day.Students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School will now have to use clear backpacks in school in the wake of the Parkland school massacre on Valentine’s Day.

    Students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School will now have to use clear backpacks in school in the wake of the Parkland school massacre on Valentine’s Day.

    Students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School will now have to use clear backpacks in school in the wake of the Parkland school massacre on Valentine’s Day.

  • Hempstead SD passes $215M budget proposal

    Hempstead SD passes $215M budget proposal

    Tuesday, April 17 2018 5:39 AM EDT2018-04-17 09:39:32 GMT
    The proposed budget is not expected to increase taxes for homeowners.The proposed budget is not expected to increase taxes for homeowners.
    The proposed budget is not expected to increase taxes for homeowners.The proposed budget is not expected to increase taxes for homeowners.

    The proposed budget is not expected to increase taxes for homeowners.

    The proposed budget is not expected to increase taxes for homeowners.

  • EnvironmentMore>>

  • Navy report on radium in water irks Bethpage residents

    Navy report on radium in water irks Bethpage residents

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 7:21 PM EDT2018-04-18 23:21:53 GMT
    Many Bethpage residents are dismissing a new report put out by the Navy about radium found in Bethpage water supplies.Many Bethpage residents are dismissing a new report put out by the Navy about radium found in Bethpage water supplies.

    Many Bethpage residents are dismissing a new report put out by the Navy about radium found in Bethpage water supplies.

    Many Bethpage residents are dismissing a new report put out by the Navy about radium found in Bethpage water supplies.

  • Gov. Cuomo unveils plan to enhance reefs off Long Island

    Gov. Cuomo unveils plan to enhance reefs off Long Island

    Tuesday, April 17 2018 6:04 PM EDT2018-04-17 22:04:35 GMT
    The plan will give fishermen more places to catch fish and help increase the amount they get.The plan will give fishermen more places to catch fish and help increase the amount they get.

    The plan will give fishermen more places to catch fish and help increase the amount they get.

    The plan will give fishermen more places to catch fish and help increase the amount they get.

  • Dangerous chemical compound found in E. Quogue sample well

    Dangerous chemical compound found in E. Quogue sample well

    Wednesday, April 11 2018 10:09 PM EDT2018-04-12 02:09:29 GMT
    An East End community’s drinking water may be contaminated with a dangerous chemical compound.An East End community’s drinking water may be contaminated with a dangerous chemical compound.

    An East End community's drinking water may be contaminated with a dangerous chemical compound.

    An East End community's drinking water may be contaminated with a dangerous chemical compound.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Guide: National park sites in the tristate area

    Guide: National park sites in the tristate area

    Statue of LibertyStatue of Liberty

    A guide to the national park sites and trails on Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York City and the Hudson Valley.

    A guide to the national park sites and trails on Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York City and the Hudson Valley.

  • Students organize walkouts over gun violence

    Students organize walkouts over gun violence

    Students from across the country streamed out of their schools on April 20, 2018 in the latest round of gun-control activism following the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.Students from across the country streamed out of their schools on April 20, 2018 in the latest round of gun-control activism following the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

    Students from across the country streamed out of their schools on April 20, 2018 in the latest round of gun-control activism following the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The protests were chosen to line up with the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

    Students from across the country streamed out of their schools on April 20, 2018 in the latest round of gun-control activism following the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The protests were chosen to line up with the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

  • Dog Day Fridays for April 20

    Dog Day Fridays for April 20

    Friday, April 20 2018 8:20 AM EDT2018-04-20 12:20:49 GMT
    Lizzy is a Retriever, Shepherd mix. She is only 2 years old and has all the makings of a great family dog. She appears to be good with children and other dogs.Lizzy is a Retriever, Shepherd mix. She is only 2 years old and has all the makings of a great family dog. She appears to be good with children and other dogs.

    Pet Peeves, an organization that donates and helps support shelters, and Last Hope Animal Rescue visited the News 12 Long Island studios with three adorable dogs this week.

    Pet Peeves, an organization that donates and helps support shelters, and Last Hope Animal Rescue visited the News 12 Long Island studios with three adorable dogs this week.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."