Pittsburgh school district urges parents to turn off cars

PITTSBURGH (KRON)—The Pittsburgh Unified School District wants you to turn off your car.

On Thursday, they began a campaign to urge parents picking up their students after school to be idle free.

“This school today is doing something different,” said Tom Flannigan with the Bay Area Air Quality Management. “They’re taking a stand and saying they don’t want that pollution in and around their school and they are asking parents to turn off their cars when they pick up their kids.”

Pittsburgh already has a high incidence of asthma and young lungs are more vulnerable than adults.

“If there is less idling it’s going to help everyone’s health especially me and other people who have asthma,” said student Ashanti Starks.

“Children have an undeveloped immune system and kids are smaller, they are much closer to the ground, they’re closer to the tail pipe were the pollution settles,” said Matt Belasco with the Pittsburgh Unified School District. “In addition kids breathe about twice the amount of air per pound than we do as adults.”

When the school district was asked to commit two schools to the effort, they went a step further.

“The health of our students is so important that we decided to do this district wide all thirteen sites,” Belasco said.

The young scholars at Martin Luther King Middle School had this message for parents:

“Turn the key, be idle free, save gas, save money spare the air,” the students said.

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