An open letter to Milton’s superintendent and Collicot School principal

October 6, 2016

Dear Mrs. Gormley and Mrs. Concannon,

I’m writing to let you know that my two children, both Collicot students, will be out for the full week next week, Oct. 10-14 and will return to school on Oct. 17.

We live directly under the 4R flight path in East Milton. For the past 12 days, we have experienced roaring planes flying over our home almost incessantly, from approximately 5 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. Planes also boom over our home intermittently in the middle of the night, often at 2 or 3 a.m. As a result, our three children (ages 4, 7, and 9) have been woken up nearly every single night, and our entire family is now suffering from massive sleep deprivation.

These same planes also fly directly over Cunningham and Collicot schools.

As they rip through the sky over our schools and our home, the planes are generally flying at less than 2,000 feet.?This means that the toxic particles that the planes emit are falling directly on our homes and school — often for more than 20 hours per day.?(See this LA Times article for information about the wide expanse of plane pollution and how pollution is dispersed based on plane elevation:?http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0529-lax-pollution-20140529-story.html).?Not only are many of Milton’s children being subjected to the torture of the constant noise, they are also breathing in carcinogenic and heart-disease-causing ultra-fine particles. Two of our children have Reactive Airway Disease (RAD), the precursor to asthma, which I doubt is a coincidence. One of our children, who was born under the path in 2012, has had pneumonia four times.

We are removing the children from school for the full week next week and taking them out-of-state, away from the plane abuse, in order for them to catch up on their sleep and to breathe in a full week of unpolluted air. We feel that this is essential for their health and ultimate success in school.

I suspect many, many other children in the Milton Public Schools, especially at Collicot and Cunningham, both located directly under the 4R flight path, are suffering from these same problems. I imagine that it could translate into lower grades, attention problems, and sickness — but parents, kids, and teachers might not be aware of the connection. Since the flight paths over our town changed to a targeted satellite based system (NextGen) a few years ago, our schools and many residents are being subject to 500 planes flying directly over them every single day.

Our local officials, especially Selectwoman Katie Conlon, are actively helping with this with assistance from the Airplane Noise Advisory Committee (ANAC), and a group of concerned citizens is also organizing grassroots activism. Approximately 40 Milton residents recently attended a?MassPort meeting, where many spoke about the detrimental impact of the planes on their lives. Please join the group (facebook.com/groups/fairskiesnation) or respond to me directly if you’d like more details.

It’s our job to protect our children. We need to be doing more.

This is a public health issue and will continue to be until some remediation is made.?It’s our job to protect our children. We need to be doing more.?I implore you to do whatever is in your power to help fight for the fair distribution of flights over our town and our schools, where our children should be safe to learn and play;?right now, they are not.?

Thank you,
Melissa Fassel Dunn

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