Manatee County Commission wants answers in Bayshore High School cancer trend


BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – A strange and deadly mystery has stumped Bradenton residents for years. Why are there so many Bayshore High School alumni battling cancer? On Tuesday, the Manatee County Commission got involved.

Bayshore High School was torn down in 1999, but it’s sadly left behind a deadly legacy.

Hundreds of people, whether alumni or their family members, have been diagnosed with cancer or other rare diseases. It’s now got the attention of the Manatee County Commission.

“The parents of these children that went to Bayshore deserve to know yes or no regarding their children,” said commissioner Vanessa Baugh.

With the Manatee County School superintendent and other school board members in the audience, commissioners listened to reports about the site, and also heard from distraught loved ones.

“This is a picture of my son, who would’ve been 42 today,” said one woman holding a photograph.

“My son was 21 when he was diagnosed with cancer,” explained another woman.

Loved ones and alumni believe contaminated water is to blame, possibly from buried diesel tanks or from an old, nearby factory that used to handle hazardous chemicals.

County officials told commissioners that numerous soil studies have found no contaminants in the ground beneath Bayshore High School.

County health department officials also said they have not seen physical evidence of any cancer trends. But, county commissioners stressed they want answers.

“If in fact, there’s no contamination of any sort, great! Let’s find out for sure and put these parents at ease once and for all,” said Baugh.

Some commissioners said they want to see if more tests can be done on the water and the land around the school. One member said they have a moral responsibility to solve this mystery.

Commissioners voted to have a joint meeting with the school board and with health department officials within the next 30 days.

Any alumni who want to provide their input can reach out to the county commission or to the Bayshore Alumni facebook page.STORIES THAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-


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