The Juneau School District Board of Education held a special meeting Thursday night to discuss a third party investigation into what’s now being called the “floor sealant incident” — that’s when 12 students at Sitʼ Eeti Shaanáx̱ Glacier Valley Elementary School were given sealant instead of milk to drink at breakfast in mid-June.
City and Borough of Juneau lawyer Robert Palmer told the board he is looking at three areas of investigation.
“One is in the food safety side, so you might think of that as an environmental health or industrial hygienist. The second is in the emergency notification-public communication side. And then the last is somebody to compile all those different reports and present a final product to the board,” he said.
Palmer estimated the cost would be roughly $10,000 per topic but said it could cost less if he could hire locally.
Board member Brian Holst said he’d like to see a report that has a broad enough scope to be applicable elsewhere.
“I think of all the things that are likely to happen in the future, floor sealant poisoning is not one of them,” he said. “I want us to learn what we can so that we can apply it to other situations.”
Holst said he would like insight into how to better monitor and maintain safety systems.
Board member Amber Frommherz wanted the board to get a better understanding of how the grants around the district’s after-school program could affect any changes the district wants to make.
“Grants, they dictate a lot of the practices, and some of those are cumbersome,” she said. “Is it that these grants are also just creating these obstacles or barriers?”
Juneau Police, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the District Attorney’s office and NANA are all investigating the incident.
The board directed Mr. Palmer to look into options for third party investigators. The board will consider the results on the week of July 4 and vote at a subsequent meeting.