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After-school activities canceled at North Division High School over drinking fountain controversy

All after-school activities are canceled today at North Division High School. 

Milwaukee Public Schools made the decision after administrators say "false information was spread" about a new drinking fountain.

There's been debate back and forth today between school officials, students, and parents about what exactly is in their drinking water. Specifically regarding a new water fountain on the third floor of the school that students say they aren't allowed to use. 

A student-led organization called the Water Warriors say that fountain has filtered water. MPS denies that claim and says that building has nothing to do with the district. This is important because after testing thousands of samples earlier this year, MPS listed North Division lead levels as being among the highest in the city.

The district says that they plan to put filters on all faucets at schools in the district. A process that will happen over three years but some who came to support today's rally say action needs to happen now. 

MPS released the following statement,

"We have become aware of incorrect information circulating regarding water quality at North Division High School. There are no water issues at North Division. All drinking fountains have been tested, and those that did not meet EPA guidelines were disconnected. Water fountains now in use meet EPA guidelines. Fixtures that did not meet guidelines will be replaced and retested before being put back in service.

A rumor of a special drinking fountain for teachers is also false. The attached water bottle cooling station was installed in the Professional Development area at North Division (which is not part of the school) to give the high number of staff who use the space for professional development a way to fill their water bottles quickly.

MPS takes the safety of our students and staff seriously and is concerned this false information has been spread. We have been transparent about our water testing - which is not required under state or federal law - as well as the results of those tests.

Due to the false information and the accompanying confusion and unnecessary concern it has caused students and staff, MPS is cancelling all North Division afterschool activities today, Wednesday May 3.

CBS 58 reached out to the company who makes the fountain, they say it wasn't ordered with a filter but it can be modified after purchase. 

 

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