Santa Monica–Malibu Unified School District

Santa Monica–Malibu Unified School District is a school district located in Santa Monica, California, United States. The district serves the cities of Santa Monica and Malibu. It has ten elementary schools, two middle schools, three high schools, an adult high school, and an alternative school.

In 2009 Malibu High School underwent a Polychlorinated biphenyls clean up. In 2011 the construction project on the Malibu Middle and High Schools and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School found soils contaminated with PCB and organochlorine pesticides. The levels present represented “an unacceptable health risk.” In 2014 the continued contamination was linked to caulk. In March 2015 parents and teachers filed a lawsuit to remove all contaminated caulk from the premises.

Santa Monic–Malibu Unified School District Logo.jpg


Until the 1980s, students from Malibu were required to bus a long distance into Santa Monica for grades 10–12, but the former junior high school there has since become Malibu High School.[citation needed].

Environmental problemsEdit

In 2009 and 2010, the Santa Monica–Malibu Unified School District did a polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) cleanup of Malibu High School overseen by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control.[1] During a 2011 construction project on the Malibu Middle and High Schools and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, contractors discovered soils were contaminated with PCBs and organochlorine pesticides like chlordane and DDT and presented “an unacceptable health risk”.[2]

In October 2013, 20 teachers jointly complained about health problems, including thyroid cancer.[3] A senior U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee recommended that teachers consult Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) for help.[4]

In February 2014, PEER attorneys asked the school district to assess the Malibu High School campus.[5] In July 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wrote that Malibu High school had never been a military site, despite published reports and interviews with long-time residents present during those years that Malibu did serve as a World War II military training center.[5] The school district hired an environmental firm named Environ, whose initial clean up plan was criticized for allowing elevated PCB levels to remain inside classrooms for 15 years or more, for not testing caulk in all rooms built prior to 1979 and for air quality monitoring of only one year. In April 2014, the EPA rejected the clean up plan. In July 2014, Environ released a second PCB clean up plan. Two weeks later PEER published PCB test results of June 2014 caulking and dirt samples from school rooms, not previously tested by the District, "at thousands of times the levels previously released to the public".[6]

In March 2015, parents and teachers filed a lawsuit[3] to have all contaminated caulk removed. PEER estimated that "probably 80 rooms in the district have contaminated caulk, beyond what was first tested".[7]

The district asked the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office to press charges against a parent who took samples from Malibu High to be tested for contamination.[8]


Elementary schools

  • Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (Malibu)
  • Edison Language Academy (Santa Monica)
  • Franklin Elementary School (Santa Monica)
  • Grant Elementary School (Santa Monica)
  • McKinley Elementary School (Santa Monica)
  • John Muir Elementary School (Santa Monica)
  • Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School (Malibu)
  • Will Rogers Elementary School (Santa Monica)
  • Roosevelt Elementary School (Santa Monica)
  • Webster Elementary School (Malibu)

Middle schools

  • John Adams Middle School (Santa Monica)
  • Lincoln Middle School (Santa Monica)

High Schools

K–8 schools


  1. ^ Simpson, David Mark (November 22, 2013). "PCB Levels at Malibu High Trigger EPA Involvement". The Malibu Times. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  2. ^ David Mark Simpson and Melissa Caskey (January 22, 2014). "New Firm to Handle Malibu High PCB Removal". Malibu Times. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Staff (March 23, 2015). "Citizen's Lawsuit Alleges PCB Contamination In Malibu Classrooms". Santa Monica Mirror. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  4. ^ David Mark Simpson; Melissa Caskey (January 22, 2014). "New Firm to Handle Malibu High PCB Removal". The Malibu Times. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Sagona, Nancy (July 17, 2014). "Feds Say Malibu High Not A Former Military Site". The Malibu Times. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  6. ^ "Malibu school highly contaminated with toxic PCBs". Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. July 17, 2014. Archived from the original (press release) on June 17, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  7. ^ "Local Lawsuit Demands Malibu Schools Remove Contaminated Caulk". CBS Local Media. CNS Radio inc. March 23, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  8. ^ Austin, Paige. "School District Seeks Charges Against Malibu Mom Who Tested Classrooms for Carcinogens" (Archive). Malibu Patch. November 4, 2015. Retrieved on November 6, 2015.

External linksEdit